I don’t fear dying nearly as much as I fear what it would be like to continue living after someone really close to me has died. Hell, it saddens me a great deal to learn that someone I’ve never met, or barely knew, has gone on. And though I feel terrible he or she has lost his or her life, it pains me more to imagine the agony whoever’s left behind must feel. The grief. The hollowness. The void from the missing soul.
I personally don’t know one person who perished in the 9/11 attacks, but I see their faces and the faces of their loved ones across the screen every year. My heart goes out to the family and friends left behind. The ones who had to pick up the pieces and move on.
Yes, I have lost friends and grandparents and other relatives, and that hurt. Badly. I can’t imagine anyone closer than that because even the thought hurts too much. So every year when the news reports the death toll and how people have learned to cope with the devastating aftermath of 9/11, I am saddened again.
And then I am inspired to live every day to the fullest.
Tomorrow is not promised. Not for me or for anyone close to me. I must live every day like it is my last or like it is their last. I must tell people I love them. I must be kind and compassionate. I must put away my phone or my laptop and actually spend quality time with those I love. Because if something were to happen to them, I would regret not having spent one more second with them.
I write death scenes in my books just like I do sex and romance and happiness and joy. They are all a part of life. And just like the cheerful aspects of my plots are intended to invoke deep emotions, so are the gloomier ones. But it’s not to get readers down. It’s not to make them sad or angry. It’s to remind them that life is fragile and we have to make the most of it. With the ones we love. While we can.
Death is certain. Death is final. And for those who remain, it can be sad….despairingly so. Those who believe in an afterlife usually find some comfort in believing they will see their loved ones again. But regardless of where one receives comfort, finding the strength to carry on is even more important.
Dedicated to the brave…the courageous…the strong survivors of the fallen on 9/11.
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