From this conglomerate which makes a life, what will you remember? A woman no more substantial than a cloud – yet one who caught the sun. ~ Doris Vanderlipp Manley
There are many occasions when one refers to life as precious but it is seldom directed at our own lives – usually the value is placed on someone else’s life. It is also in our nature to recognise the significance of a particular life in the aftermath; be it through death, separation, or any adverse circumstance. We look back in dismay and feel the loss of that life entering our own.
On a daily basis we spend a considerable amount of time alone; sometimes talking to ourselves. We are, however, quite oblivious to the fact that these thoughts might have some influence on the unconscious mind or that the mind is busy creating or imagining an escape route from reality , alternatively building a false illusion of who we really are. In most cases, we will find the undercurrent of these thoughts to be negatively charged. If only we would pause, look back and reconstruct the pieces of our life more carefully and give recognition to all the precious moments we have forgotten, or never acknowledged. It is only during an exercise of reflection that we can become aware that even this life, my life, can be precious.
The reconstruction process is one of patience and care and is not unlike building a puzzle, but instead of fitting the pieces together, we fit the people who appeared throughout our lives into a more concrete format. This format will be in the configuration of a Book of Remembrance which constitutes a compilation of the narrative, the history, the visuals, the cards, dry flowers, and letters, etc. – all received over the years and stored away in a special place.
In pursuit of collecting memories we might find people who came into our lives for a short while that just simply glided through and those who were like a shooting star leaving behind a beautiful trail. There are also those who stayed longer, perhaps, not because we wanted them to, but they lingered on nonetheless. For those who stayed and earned their rightful place, we are immensely grateful, for they are the ones who will abide with us in our lesser days and will ultimately be present when there is a knock on the door …
We are only responsible for one life and that is our own life. When our days are getting shorter and becoming more unpredictable, our life should still be able to stand as an example to others, even if it is only in the most humble way. So, think about how precious your life truly is. The acknowledgment thereof, might help when you face the last stage of this journey and all you have left is to recall, the life you have lived.
Written by Dr Magda Rall