I am aborting my vacuuming project before it gets started. I just keep thinking about the article I read in yesterday’s New York Times called Extreme Grief:
I met a young man last year who came to our church with his fiancé now widow. He died last weekend in an avalanche, ice-climbing. Many of my friends got to know and love him while he was here before he moved on to get married and start medical school.
I keep thinking of his young widow, his mother, all those who loved him and valued his life. Why didn’t he value his life as they did? Why didn’t he see how connected he was to them, tied to them with bonds stronger than any rope? Why didn’t he see how devastated they would be with his loss? I don’t know the answer to any of these haunting questions. I just want to say please parents teach your children of their extreme value to you and the world. They are here for a reason. Every life has extreme potential to change the world for good. Since ancient times parents have been training and teaching their children the important values they hold dear.
I am growing to detest the phrase: “He died doing what he loved.” What about those he was extremely connected to? Did they get a vote on this? He was an extremely talented, bright, and beautiful person that the world will be bereft of now. I know anger is a part of grief and my anger will subside to sadness eventually, but while I am still angry I want to challenge parents to use their parental authority to teach children their extreme value. Talk to your children about how important they are to you and the world. Teach them what is important to you; don’t wait for someone else to do it. They may not do it and children need to hear from parents more than anyone else; peers, teachers, counselors, and especially the media. Teach them to love and respect. Teach them to love and respect themselves, others, as well as our beautiful planet. As a person of faith I would add love and respect God. Knowing His love helps me to love extremely others, His creation and myself.