Yesterday, Edward walked to campus with Elsie, as usual. The Matron worked from home yesterday, but she knows what Edward's days on campus are like: there is always a steady stream of students in and out of his office. He loves them! Later, he walked home and had a nice dinner with his wife, a glass of good red wine. Their 11-year old daughter tended to homework; she was his late in life child, the third baby his younger wife wanted--even after she turned forty.
Just before midnight, Edward died.
Just like that. He had a heart attack, suffered a few moments of pain and was gone.
Friends, who said this? When you die, it's not as if the actor has left the stage. The stage itself disappears. Every so often, the Matron is overcome -- overcome--by thinking about the millions and millions of people who have come and gone before her -- people whose minds (consciousness, that amazing creature!) constitute entire universes full of emotion, ideas, anxieties, determination and dreams. She herself is a hotbed of emotion, intellect, idea and dream. Multiply this expansive universe times eternity and there: humanity.
One more among us, gone, the stage torn down, a universe dissembled.
Our time here? Firefly life. We burn brightly and beautifully-- for just a few minutes.
"Wear scarlet! Tear the green lemons
off the tree! I don't want
to forget who I am, what has burned in me
and hang limp and clean, an empty dress -- "
Burn, burn, burn. Don't ask less of life while you still have it.