Death smiles at us all — all a man can do is smile back

He is omnipresent and while it is part of our life in many ways, losing someone (or something) is always a struggle which isn’t on our…

Death smiles at us all — all a man can do is smile back
Photo by davide ragusa / Unsplash

He is omnipresent and while it is part of our life in many ways, losing someone (or something) is always a struggle which isn’t on our bucket list.

While it is part of our daily life and mostly a symbol for a (sad) loss, it can also define a new beginning. As for myself, Death has always been the cut in a lifeline — mostly for musicians I loved over the years (always gone too soon!) but on April 10th, 2018, my beloved grandpa died in the graceful age of 87. This was my first conscious contact with Death that affected me personally and in the age of 43, you begin to think more of the fact that life will never last. The pandemic circumstances in 2020 already proved that it was a bad year and currently, 2021 gets worse.

In early March 2021, my dad got diagnosed with colon cancer which was discovered by coincidence (and some pressure applied) and this day, after 28 rounds of radiation, two chemos, ten surgeries and more than 75 days in hospital he is — fortunately — cancer-free but needs to recover his whole body which also means learning to walk again: Fortunately, nothing spread but the fear of losing your dad without the slightest hint out-of-the-nowhere already delivered tons of grief and sorrows. Unfortunately, that is the way Death works — sneaking into our lives and always trying to steal our beloved one‘s life and believe me, he was never that close.

Three weeks ago, one of my eldest daughter‘s best three friends died at a plane crash in Eastern Germany. A young, passionated sailplane-aviator died in a prop plane together with another 16 year old girl, a boy of 17 and the pilot of 55 years. She was 14. So far, nobody knows what happened but as I read the headline in the news, I never thought it could affect our family: Yet another sad private plane crash, 600 kilometers away from your home — who‘d expect that one of your daughter‘s best friends would be dead by a second in this age? A kid that visited our third‘s daughters birthday four weeks ago? A girl I fetched from the swimming bath these holidays together with their friends? Death is a bitch and doesn‘t choose by reason.

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These examples show that everything can end within a second. The thread of life, spun by the Norns in Norse mythology, can be interrupted without pre-warning. Should we enjoy life or mourn or dead? Should we be prepared? Can we? Faith divides us, death unites us — but it’s difficult to recall this fact in daily life, and I still have not managed to handle this. On the other hand, we need to enjoy life while we can and — according to Marc Aurel‘s statement that made my headline — we have to accept the inevitable — which is easier said than done! Unfortunately.