Every time a person or animal that I know dies, I need to take a quiet moment and contemplate existence, the enormous paradox of life and death, celebration and mourning. I end up with a feeling of peace and sadness. I can't imagine losing my son or any of my loved ones. If that were to happen, I would do more than contemplate existence, I would probably seriously question everything that I know. I would wonder, is happiness even achievable? Is there any meaning to life, or are we just thrown around by the tides of life and swept under the sea at whim?
With distance, comes a more peaceful revelation about death. I'd met this man before, but I would never converse with him beyond a simple passing "hi," so my emotions are more of sympathy than sadness. I can look beyond the screen of raging emotions and see that there was both celebration and mourning in his life and death, and I remain sobered but at peace. Life and death are simply two sides of the same coin, separate but equally meaningful. I just hope I can remember this fact when it is time for my own family or friends to hold the hand of death. I doubt that I will feel peaceful, but I hope I can at least remember to celebrate their lives as well as mourn their deaths.