How death affects life


Death. We hear about it, but rarely talk about it. For some people, it comes too soon. For others, it’s welcomed with open arms. But one thing is certain, it leaves people thinking.

Recently I’ve been surrounded by a lot of death and it has forced me to take a closer look at my life, along with my aspirations. AZ, a family friend who was only 28 years old, died in a car accident on his way back from the gym. It was so sudden that I wasn’t able to process it for quite some time. But once I did, the memories began flooding my mind. He had basically been another member of my family so the loss of his companionship hit my family hard.

After I got over the initial shock, I began to reflect on his life. I noticed that he spent the majority of it focusing on his education. He struggled to do the things he really wanted to do because he was always doing homework or stressing over finals. That’s when my dilemma began.

Should I spend 10 poignant years of my life after high school sitting in yet another classroom pulling my hair out because I can’t understand the material, or should I spend them scratching things off of my bucket list? I understand the importance of education, but I’ve also witnessed the benefits of real-world experiences. Actually meeting people of different backgrounds instead of simply reading about them in books helps both in and out of the workplace.

I’ve seen what a good education can give you, but sometimes the process is too much to handle. Even after graduating from college or medical school, you’re not able to do what you want because you get caught up in things that seem more important at that moment. Over time your priorities may change. Some people want to get married and start a family while others are busy finding jobs after finally leaving school. That leaves basically no time for them to go back and do the things they always wanted to do.

We get so caught up in being successful and doing something with our lives that we forget to live. We disregard the fact that death is a reality and it can show up anywhere and at any time. Drunk driving incidents and freak accidents should be a constant reminder that death has no age restrictions.

AZ was on his way to an established life. He was smart, good-looking and almost done with college. He loved playing basketball. He was liked by all because of his polite and easy-going nature. He died because someone else crashed into a light pole, causing it to fall on top of his car. He died before he could put his education to good use. He died having sacrificed 10 years of his life for his education and nothing else. Time which he could’ve spent doing anything he wanted to do.

My generation, including me, have tunnel vision for success. We’ve forgotten that not everything can be learned in a classroom setting. We spend the entirety of our prime years stressing much more than we should. We need to understand that meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and exploring the world around us is just as important as scoring high on our SATs. We need to understand that we have to do these things before it’s too late, which could be sooner than we anticipate.