Death and Living
I’ve experienced a fair share of death in my life. I’ve spoken at more funerals than weddings. The first funeral I remember was for my grandfather when I was a child. I missed him and I was sad, but I didn’t really understand.
In high school, I lost my piano teacher. She wasn’t just my teacher, but also a mentor and a friend. It was the first time I really experienced loss like that and I learned how death could take something from you that you always counted on.
Over the years, I lost the rest of my grandparents and also an uncle I was close to in the US and an uncle I was close to in Japan. And then my father. I learned how death was unpredictable and leaves behind a hole in your heart that never entirely closes.
But the most frightening experience was after my wife developed her heart condition. There was one episode where she ended up convulsing from multiple defibrillations. As she was rushed into the emergency room and operated on by people whose job it was to perform miracles, I sat there powerless and afraid.
I didn’t want to lose her. Even though I’d gone through losses before, I didn’t think I could survive that. Eventually, she recovered enough to come home, but that fear stayed with me. I didn’t want to feel that loss again, that pain. So I held back. I didn’t want to depend so much on her because I didn’t want to risk losing so much again.
But that’s no way to live. As hard as death is, it’s more important to keep living, even if it means increases the chance of losing more. Because life isn’t about mitigating losses. It’s about experiencing all the love you can while you have the chance.