Monday, October 24, 2011

Something to Keep in Mind

I was struck by terrible news today.  While at work one of my college buddies messaged me to let me know that one of our old classmates passed away of natural causes this past weekend.  I should start this by mentioning that I did not know Bobby very well.  He was one of those college peers who shared the same major, appeared in many of my classes, and was randomly assigned to a group with me to work on class projects every now and then. What I did know about him, however, is that he was a very hard working 24 year old PhD candidate, president of the Biomedical Engineering Society, integral member of his research lab, boyfriend, son, brother, and friend.  Six months ago he and I were standing in front of our class dissecting a journal publication about tissue engineering with the intentions of educating the next generation of biomedical engineers on how to focus their efforts to help sick people recover.  To my knowledge, Bobby was neither sick nor injured.  For all I know he may not have experienced any warning signs that he was in any danger, given that he was working at his job when complications set in.  This hit me as a very clear message that I am not indestructible and as a reminder that the only guarantee I have in life is the present.  It is incredibly important to take time to appreciate the here-and-now and (I know it's cliche) live each day to the fullest.  There is no more blatant reminder that life is a gift than when one gets taken away. I don't mean this post to be morose or negative but I do want it to serve as a reality check! Death is something we shouldn't live our lives running from but just accept as the inevitable end and choose to live accordingly.  We all have so much talent and so much promise individually but, more importantly, we all mean something to so many other people.  Bobby would not have called me anything more than an acquaintance yet I feel so much anger and frustration with his passing.  I am fortunate enough to have had very few encounters with death thus far in life that I literally cannot imagine what his close friends, and family are going through. Bobby is greatly missed and his passing commands everyone to take some time to appreciate those who care for them and those who they care for. At the end of the day, what more do we have than each other and the memories we have created together?

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