One cleans house, does the grocery shopping, cooks dinner, goes on vacation, takes photographs, tells family stories, collects memorabilia, gives parties, hosts celebrations, visits with family and friends over a cup of coffee, buys new furniture for their home.
Interspersed with these milestones hopefully, a person leaves the world a better place when they die. And hopefully, they have been able to enjoy the time spent on this earthly plane where they shared their love with others, lived a life filled with generosity and compassion for others, helped those less fortunate then themself. Hopefully, they have been mindful of their time, kept aware of the good times, dealt with the difficult, and celebrated the joyous.
But it all seems to go so quickly by in a haze and looking back is not sufficient to really record the events of the years or the sum of a life. So the best approach, I believe, is to live in the now!
Live for today (while of course preparing for the future) as all the time we really have is today. The past is gone, never to return. The future may never arrive and if it does we cannot be aware of what it will bring with itself.
My sister has left a lot behind. Besides the physicality of being with her family (and the family members are the ones that are affected most, obviously not her).
She is on a new adventure, the likes of which we cannot begin to imagine. Even if we could, the words we would use to describe that next step are man-made words so they could not begin to be close to the truth.
Her neuroses and psychoses no longer exist, and she had many that affected the quality of her life. Her back no longer aches from her recent fall. She is no longer afraid to get on an elevator, she no longer is afraid of falling while out walking around the mall.
She no longer has to watch her blood sugar and fight with diabetes. She no longer has to argue with her husband (don't all couples argue?)
She no longer has to worry about her children and her grandchildren as they move through their own version of life which at times frustrated her because their versions were in conflict with her's.
She no longer has to lament lost opportunities, unexpressed emotions, past failures, unattained successes. She no longer has to wonder what if, or why and why not.
Above all, she no longer has to be afraid of death! Instead of missing her mom and dad, inlaws, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends who have predeceased her, perhaps she is interacting with them even as we speak. At least, she no longer has to miss them.
I believe that now, on the occasion of her death, Libbe has returned to her "pure self". She is now the essence she was before she began her earthly adventure: before as a child unknowingly the important figures in her life presented their truths as universal truths which they, in turn, received from the important figures in their lives and which were not necessarily the "truth", before her corporal needs interfered with her spiritual needs, before her health slowed her down, before her physical limitations took hold, before financial difficulties affected her lifestyle.
Rest in peace dear sister. What makes a life? You did and for the most part, you were good at it. You have left many people behind, who carry the love they hold for you yet, and will as long as they continue the work of making their own lives matter.