Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Your life is an occasion - Rise to it!

The above is a quote from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Possibly one of the best movies I've watched recently, with some of the most positive and poignant thoughts on death I've ever heard. This movie has been especially moving and emotional for me in the last week as, a week ago yesterday, my cousin past away from cancer. She was only 23. In high school, she lived with my family for a year and as such, she was the closest I've ever come to having a sister. We shared clothes, a bathroom, a phone line, and chores. We giggled, we fought, we were typical teenage girls. As I've tried to come to terms with her passing I've found myself faced with a mix of strange emotions. We didn't have a close relationship in the past five years or so, only speaking on occasion, and seeing each other only at family functions. I grieve for her parents, her siblings, and the friends she spent the most time with in recent months and years. I am sad to see a vibrant life cut so short. But I do not grieve for her, or for myself. She is in a much better place, away from the suffering and struggle of cancer. Although she didn't want to leave, I have no doubt that she would not now want to come back. And because of that, I don't grieve for myself.

I believe she would have wanted her death to inspire people to live....not to dwell in the dark shadow of death. I believe she would have wanted people to remember her life fondly, but not feel burdened down by her burial. I think she would have loved Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium...and I think she would have said about her death just what he does about his. I have been inspired by her passing to continue on with passion. To discover every dream, to delve into every question before the time for answers has run out. When I die I want the wonders of my life to be the beauty I leave behind, pages of a brilliant book. Every book must come to an end, as will mine eventually, but I'd like to think that the sweetness of the story will be the focus, and not the sadness of the book ending. If I could leave behind a last conversation, I think it would be much like Mr. Magorium's.

Mr. M: "When King Lear dies in act five, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He's written...."He dies." That's all. Nothing more. No fan fair. No metaphor. No brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is, "He dies". It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with "He dies". And yet every time I read those two words I find myself overwhelmed with disphorium. And I know it's only natural to be sad. But not because of the words "He dies", but because of the life we saw prior to those words.
I've lived a good, long life Mahoney. And I'm not asking you to be happy that I must go, I'm only asking that you turn the page. Continue reading. And let the next story begin. And, if anyone ever asks what became of me, you relate my life in all it's wonder....and end it with a simple, and modest,..."He died".

Mahoney: "I love you"

Mr. M: "I love you too. Your life is an occasion....rise to it!"

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful way to view death - as a reminder to truly live.