Stories of research, nutrition, and nature

High cost of living

Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Loss of a person, especially sudden and unexpected, is a strange thing. When you first hear the news, it feels unreal. How can someone cease existing? A few days ago they were still there, laughing and getting stuff done, making plans for tomorrow and next year, striving to fulfill their dreams, touching others and weaving their own unique thread in the intricate web of life.

The next day they’re gone. All that remain are memories, sorrow, confusion and emptiness. A dark aching hole where there once was a person full of life. Picking up the threads and trying to cope with practicalities that need to be taken care of despite wanting to curl up into a ball and cry.

Different belief systems see death in very different ways. In many Eastern beliefs, death is a natural part in the cycle of life. The deceased become a part of the world and their energy continues living in some other form. In contrast, many Western beliefs have the concept of an afterlife – heaven or hell – and some think that this life is all we get, like it or not.

I decided several years ago that I want to believe in reincarnation in some form. I figured it would be the best way to maintain inner peace. This might actually be a healthier way of looking at the world than believing that this life is all we have. Karmic justice means, in a way, that we can take it easier; it’s not just one shot at life, but numerous tries at good life. Our own actions dictate where we end up in the next life.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. After all, beliefs are not about facts. It hurts to lose someone but it would be much, much worse if it didn’t hurt at all. Every person is valuable and unique and should have someone who cares and mourns them when they’re gone. People are alive for as long as someone remembers them.

We are all made of stars.

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