Last year I heard of several deaths. Some of these are very close to me, my friends. Some are old. Some are very young. In one case it was a young boy who happened was bicycling home and made a fatal mistake of crossing the traffic light on red. The parents coped as best any parent that loses their only son can. It’s heart wrenching to see them. However, the way they coped and the strength they demonstrated is nothing short of amazing. On the other spectrum another friend of mine lost his parent. His parent is in the late 80s. Surely losing a loved one is a loss but the way this friend of mine is grief stricken and literally went into depression. Another friend of mine who lost his aged parent who is in late 70s however, was more philosophical. He was happy that his father died without suffering. Another death I encountered was a middle aged woman with two young children and a husband who succumbed to cancer of the pancreas after an year of valiant fight.
I definitely morned the loss of the boy even though some other deaths are a lot closer to me personally. I have logic but I started wondering is one life more valuable than the other? In my mind one’s death is more of a loss than the other. The young mother’s death is the worse of all because of unfulfilled responsibilities. However, the boy is also a great loss because a young life is turned off without ever even having a chance of realizing his potential. However, the death of an octogenarian is, in my mind, not a loss. There is another aspect that I started thinking. In death the boy’s organs were harvested (the brave parents chose to let the doctors keep the boy alive long enough to enable this) so that they can save other lives. On the other hand the octogenarian’s organs are of no use to anyone. It’s like when I wanted to buy a new car, my car dealer took a look at my car and pronounced that this is one car that’s really used. I got barely $1000 for it – he decided to salvage parts of that).
It’s almost as though the value (or loss felt) of a dead person is inversely proportional to the value they give back in life. The more a person gives back in life, the less they take away in death.
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