A Reader Writes: Bob’s Lesson on the Transitory Nature of Life

One of the joys of hosting this blog is the elder wisdom we receive from our readers. I would like to share this reflection from Bob about the need to acknowledge our limited time horizon, and to life fully in the face of loss.

Bob wrote:

In Robert Frost’s poem “Out, Out,” a young man dies tragically, and for a moment all those around him are affected by the tragedy of his loss. Yet soon, “…they, since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.”

I recently lost my brother, and in the gathering at his funeral the members of our family were, for a time, more closely united with one another and with the deeper wisdoms of life than we had been for quite some time. We felt our kinship, and the transitory nature of life. We considered the legacy of the one lost, and wondered what essence of worth and goodness we ourselves would leave behind. We searched for that worth in a history too often filled with days of mundane business and busyness. And for a brief time we connected with each other, and deeper truths about love, and service to others, and humility, and faith.

But soon we returned to our mundane affairs, our busyness, our separations, our self-absorbed pursuits. My wisdom is this: live a good life today; give and receive selfless love; serve others – so that when you come to a time of reflection you can say: “I have made good choices. I have lived, and loved, and been loved, and served others well.” It will make all the difference.

One thought on “A Reader Writes: Bob’s Lesson on the Transitory Nature of Life

  1. After listening to Tapestry, I was very interested in Karl Pillemer’s research. In the past 8 years, I have lost both my parents, a brother and brother-in-law(too soon), my mother-in-law from a difficult illness, and now my 93 year old father-in-law is ill in hospital. Sometimes it has seemed too much to bear. But I love life and have my husband, children and grandchildren and close friends for which I am extremely grateful.

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