Musings · Thoughts

There Has To Be a Purpose

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

– Norman Cousins

How cruel, how rude, how disruptive. Many times, death doesn’t send a warning, no preparation, nothing. It just comes when it does, leaving heartbreak and chaos in its wake.

I think it’s one of the saddest events humans have to experience.


After all, no matter how much some might try to deny it, we are all emotional beings. We get emotionally tied to our family and friends, our jobs and pets. Emotion is evident in everything we do.

Loved. You can’t use it in the past tense. Death does not stop that love at all.

– Ken Kesey

I heard of a terribly sad and avoidable death last week and it brought up a brief discussion. Is it better to have never had someone in your life than to have this person and have them die untimely and unexpectedly?

This question stayed with me long after we’d discussed it. It actually stayed with me for most of the day and weekend.

I thought about it, rolled it around in my head and the conclusion was clear to me. I’d rather have someone in my life even briefly and have the memories forever than to have never had the person in my life at all.

I know this might sound selfish to some but give it more thought. These memories are two way and whether it’s a parent or a friend, I’ll bet they’d also be glad to have spent time with those they’re leaving behind no matter how short the time.

While death is painful and brings feelings which are beyond words, memories can be glorious and worth treasuring. They can be relieved again and again. And even though they can wear out like an over-played DVD, they always leave an impression that can be way stronger that anything we could think of.

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

I also believe death, at any time and in any way presents the living with an opportunity to take stock. It reminds us of our imminent end and the fact that no one will live forever.  It reminds us that death is the single end point we’re heading towards.

Some will die violently, some peacefully, some painfully. Then the question becomes; how did they live?

Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.

– Benjamin Franklin

Remembering our end as humans could do a lot for how we live presently.

It could make that decision you’ve been struggling with easier to take.

It could make you let go of that hurt that’s been holding you down for a long time.

It could make you decide to live to the fullest; not minding the many restrictions society places on us.

Really, inside of all the pain and heartbreak loses bring, there’s a treasure worth finding for anyone who actually cares to look.

It’s terribly difficult to say any of this to a grieving person and I wouldn’t assume that it should make sense to them or ease their grieving in any way. But really, there has to be a purpose to death.

For instance, Christians (of which I am one!) believe in life after death. We believe that access to that life can only come through Jesus (and we believe Jesus is the Son of God and God, all at the same time. I know it sounds complicated 😃 but it really isn’t).

What other purpose do you think there is to death?




©Oreoluwa Matemilola 2018 All Rights Reserved


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