I was working on a different story this morning. But I just hit delete, because now I am haunted.

This story (trigger warning: cancer) showed up in my Facebook feed. It features a four-minute video that covers the life and death of a young woman. If you have the emotional space right now, I recommend you watch it

And I watch that, and it seems that any piffle I could write this morning pales in comparison.

Because life is oh so fragile. And we don’t like to confront the fact that it is fragile. We busy ourselves with a million distractions to keep our thoughts away from the awful fact that every single one of us will die.

And life is so unpredictable. We don’t know when we will die. The young woman in the video had a couple of months’ notice. But some of us get no notice at all.

I look back on my life and see so many opportunities missed. Risks not taken. Chances squandered.

The party I skipped out on because I was too tired to go — the lost chance to spend a few precious moments with friends.
The date I didn’t ask for because I was sure I would be turned down — the missed possibility of friendship or romance.
The injustice I did not speak out against — the forgone opportunity to make the world a better place.

And, of course, I run the risk of wasting my hours and days and years looking back on a life of regret, rather than seizing the moment to better my life, to better the world, thus perpetuating the cycle.

So how do I make these few fleeting moments of life worthwhile? This is a question only I can answer for myself. But it must be answered — before it’s too late.


About Whittier Strong

Whittier Strong is an MFA student in creative writing at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, with a focus in nonfiction. He graduated from Metropolitan State University with a BA in creative writing. He has special interests in sociology and philosophy.

Posted on 16 January, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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