The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Taking time to think about death

I write this as I sit on the airplane about to embark on Spring Break. Anticipation of a fun and relaxing week permeates the air around me. However, also hanging in the foreground is the notion that the week will be over in a flash. Yes, it will be fun, but a week from now it will be over. That’s right, seemingly in a blink of an eye, it will be gone.

As I continue to think, I realize that I have been contemplating time a lot more recently due to the situation of a family friend. A number of months ago, our friend was given six short months to live after she was diagnosed with brain tumors. Short of an absolute miracle, her time on this earth is all too quickly coming to a close. I feel so bad for both her and for her kids. As I proceed to place myself in her shoes, I can’t help but ask myself questions.

How would I spend my last few months? What changes would I make in my life if I knew I only had this long to live? Who do I need to spend time with? With whom do I need to right a past wrong? As I contemplate these questions, others arise as well, such as the possibility and the tangibility of death. What happens when we die? This is a question many college students often don’t ask. Why should we? We are in our prime of life; it seems that we have our whole lives ahead of us.

Death is something we’ll figure out later, when we’re old. However (as many have experienced), accidents happen too often. The possibility of death is scary; it is mysterious and raises countless other questions: Is death the end? Is there an afterlife? Does heaven exist? Hell? If so, what determines where we’ll end up?

These challenging questions are deserving of thought and investigation. I encourage you to think about death. Investigate it, and talk with other people about it.

Death can happen when we least expect it; just ask my fellow SMU friend whose dad died suddenly and unexpectedly just a little over a week before Christmas. She will not get to spend another Christmas on this earth with her beloved father. What would she have told him if she could talk to him one last time? Sadly, she won’t get that chance. However, this can challenge and encourage us not to miss the opportunities we still have to tell our loved ones how we feel.

I encourage you to tell your family and friends that you love them. If you never got a chance to over Spring Break, call them up later today and tell them. You never know when you won’t get another chance to say those precious and meaningful words, “I love you.”

Also, take advantage of the time that you have with people. Someone special may be taken from our lives any day. Death is very real and very scary. Count each day as a blessing – we do not know how long we have to live.

I write these things to you not to preach, but rather to share my heart on some of the things that I have been thinking about lately. I really encourage you as my fellow classmates to think about death, and to remember to take advantage of the time we have with loved ones. Tell them how you feel so that you won’t have any regrets.

I am thankful for the time I have been given with my family and friends. I try not to take them or our time together for granted, and I hope that you won’t either.

About the writer:

Stephen Reiff is a first-year business and political science major. He can be reached at [email protected].

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