You never know when you’re going to talk to someone for the last time. You never know if that voicemail is the last ‘living’ memory of someone. You never know if someone’s next breath will be their last. You never can know.
I felt invincible. Most teenagers do. We live in this world of fun and taking risks in which nothing wrong can happen. Every day is simply an opportunity to do some new stupid thing in order to prove how cool we are or to win some sort of bet. Everything is all fun and games in high school and we all make big plans for the future and what will become of us someday. And in these plans for the future, we take the background blur for granted.
What is the background blur?
All of our friends and family that we just ‘know’ will be there when we achieve all our dreams and succeed in the world. Certain things we think about when making future plans such as our careers, maybe the person we will marry, what house will have and so on. And when this all happens, we believe our friends and family from today will still be there in the future. The background to our self-centred dreams are the people that are there, the people we take for granted because we just know that they will be there. And that’s where we go wrong, that’s where I was wrong.
Having someone close to me come to their last breaths made me question this whole idea of feeling invincible. I am merely a person, a human being. I have had a beginning and one day I will come to an end. So will other people in my life. The background blur of my future will probably be completely different from what I think now. I do not know when will be the last time I talk to someone, last time I will laugh with someone, or the last time I will even see someone because that is out of my hands. I cannot know.
I do know this: experiencing loss has changed me. I can take everyone for granted, or even question if I should take everyone for granted, or I can live in the moment. I can make those memories with my family and my friends. Because some of these people may not be here in the future, I do not know who, but the moments and memories will always be there, that I know.
As teenagers we feel invincible and we take everything and everyone for granted. But every story has a final chapter. A final page. A final word. Everything comes to an end, and the sooner we learn to accept that, the better off we are.