Wednesday, January 9. 2013
This is it, folks. There’s one more blog after this one, but it’s nothing like the usual fare. This is the last “normal” blog of the first semester.
1. Leaf by Leaf, Page by Page, Throw This Book Away
There’s a saltwater film on the jar of your ashes
I threw them to sea but a gust blew them backwards
And the sting in my eyes that you then inflicted
Was par for the course
Just as when you were living
It’s no stretch to say you were not quite a father
But a donor of seeds to a poor single mother
That would raise us alone
We never saw the money
That went down your throat through the hole in your belly
Thirteen years old in the suburbs of Denver
Standing in line for Thanksgiving dinner
At the Catholic church
The servers wore crosses
To shield from the sufferance plaguing the others
Styrofoam plates, cafeteria tables
Charity reeks of cheap wine and pity
And I’m thinking of you
I do every year
When we count all our blessings
And wonder what we're doing here
You’re a disgrace to the concept of family
The priest won’t divulge that fact in his homily
And I’ll stand up and scream if the mourning remain quiet
You can deck out a lie in a suit
But I won’t buy it
I won’t join in the procession that’s speaking their piece
Using five-dollar words while praising his integrity
And just ‘cause he’s gone
It doesn’t change the fact
He was a b------d in life
Thus a b-----d in death
– Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), “Styrofoam Plates”
What would people say at your funeral?
Would they tell the truth? (Do they even know the truth about the person you are?)
Would you want them to?
If you can’t tell, I love teaching Beowulf. It’s a wonderful story, big-hearted, bold, and beautiful in a way that most stories can’t muster anymore. And if you’ve been paying attention to any of the things we’ve covered this year, it’s easy to see that Beowulf is a great big collection of my favorite things. It discusses subjects as varied as the reasons we live, love, and fight, the joys and agonies of holding power, the proper role of revenge, the weird crises that result when one realizes that he’s reached his peak, and – last, but certainly not least – the oddly human compulsion to treasure the past, to hold onto memories more desperately than possessions, and to define ourselves in terms of where we’ve been far more readily than in terms of where we want to go.
In short, it’s awesome.
Anyway, during my first year, which I mainly spent desperately improvising and struggling to keep my head above water, I stumbled upon what I thought was a unbelievable stroke of luck: Robert Zemeckis (director of, among other films, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and the recent Flight), along with a whole slew of investors, had decided to invest many years and $150 million in a 3D, fully-motion-capture-animated version of what many people considered a unfilmable poem. (They had good reason to harbor doubts: Others had tried before, and failed miserably.) As it so happened, Zemeckis and Co. planned to release the film that fall.
A film of Beowulf! And if you think I was excited, imagine how my students felt: instead of reading the poem, some figured they could just watch the movie. It was a coup for everyone, and my kids were really excited about the unit.
But then the following happened:
a) It took a couple of weeks, but when the first Searchers got into the poem, they really fell in love with it;
b) The movie hit theaters, and it turned out…well, differently from the book;
c) Other than the kids who went in hoping to see hyper-violence (of which there was plenty) and/or Angelina Jolie (she was eight months pregnant at the time, so the viewers who drooled were doing so over a pixilated CGI body), every single one of my students loathed the movie – mostly because they were absolutely horrified by the changes Zemeckis and the screenwriter, Neil Gaiman of Sandman fame, had made.
I went to see it with a fairly open mind. I love both books and films, so I’m not a purist: while I appreciate film adaptations that preserve the best aspects of their literary sources, I understand that there’s no reason for a movie to exactly replicate the original text. After all, if I want the story to follow that familiar path, I can always read the book again.
Still, the movie takes an almost perverse delight out of messing up everything – changing not just relationships and timelines, but the very characters and themes I loved (and continue to love). The film’s title was a cruel joke, the final straw – why even call it Beowulf if it’s not going to be based on the story at all?
Afterward, I waffled between disappointment, dislike, and grudging appreciation. On the one hand, it’s a very pretty movie. If you don’t mind the dead-eye uncanny-valley thing that freaks so many motion-capture viewers out – something that wasn’t really solved until Avatar’s release four years later – the movie’s completely immersive, and there were a few exhilarating sequences that actually would have been unfilmable had someone other than Zemeckis (an experienced motion-capture artist) directed it. Moreover, the film displayed a lot of guts by altering the poem so completely; the first people who’d want to see a movie of the poem are also the original’s most passionate defenders (to put it lightly), and are therefore the most likely to be infuriated if anything’s been altered.
At the same time, I felt a little cheated. It was a golden opportunity to present a story that (as my original Searchers proved) still has plenty of resonance for a modern audience but that’s critically underappreciated because of the perceived difficulty in reading a long, old poem (see also: The Inferno, or The Divine Comedy itself). Yet the filmmakers did their best to avoid presenting that story, a decision that, on its face, seemed to backfire: while the poem remains popular, the movie was not a financial success (the studio lost more than half of what it invested in the film). As anyone with a basic understanding of Hollywood economics knows, this wasn’t just any flop, either; now that Zemeckis had made such a high-profile attempt, and failed despite having a bunch of resources at his disposal that other filmmakers would never have, nobody else was going to try making a Beowulf movie. Investors would be better off setting their money on fire.
No, for better or worse, Zemeckis’s vision, his version of Beowulf, was all I was ever going to get…and his vision happened to completely diverge with anything resembling a fair, accurate reading of the poem.
Then I realized that that was the point.
2. It Feels Like I’m Trying to Hold Smoke
It’s important to remember that accidents happen in art. Sometimes a painter slaps some paint on a canvas only to discover that their original idea is inferior to something they saw in the details. Sometimes a teenager moving a pencil over paper produces an image that’s even more beautiful than the one he/she held in his/her head. Sometimes an author surprises himself with the ending he composes.
More often than not, however, art is an intentional product – the sum of thousands of carefully considered creative decisions. And when you’re talking about doing something as blatantly controversial as Zemeckis and Gaiman decided to do – i.e., mess with an unquestioned classic that’s one of the foundations modern literature’s built upon – I should have instantly realized that something was up. (My own anger over the perceived violation of a book I loved got in the way.)
See, Zemeckis and Gaiman aren’t incompetent. They can read the poem just as easily, thoroughly, and accurately as I can. They know what it’s about; their scripting choices aren’t the result of two educated adults massively misinterpreting a text we teach to teenagers.
Instead, the scriptwriters decided to avoid adapting the book they said they were adapting; they wrote a movie that advanced a message, and the changes I mentioned were made in order to drive home that specific message – even though it’s a message that people who have never read the book probably can’t notice, and even though it’s a message that people who have read the book may miss because they’re too furious, offended, or disappointed to notice.
I certainly didn’t notice until about a week later. I don’t stop thinking about things easily – I know this comes as a tremendous surprise to you – so Beowulf haunted my thoughts for about a week before I finally got the message. It’s most clearly stated in a moment that’s really easy to miss because it seems so mundane.
Those of you who have seen the movie (my condolences) may remember a seemingly irrelevant scene that takes place just after the narrative has jumped forward fifty years. Hygelac never appears in the film, we don’t see Geatland, and Beowulf succeeds a suicidal Hrothgar (who turns out to be Grendel’s father) and leads the Danes instead. (I know.)
Before the jump, Beowulf is blonde, young, and ripped, not to mention frequently, frequently naked. Then he becomes king of his people, the camera blinks…and we jump.
When we see the king again, he looks significantly older, wearier, and tired; fifty long years of struggle and guilt have weighed heavily on him. (He does continue to compulsively shed clothing; some habits die hard, even for octogenarians.) He yearns to be out fighting instead of pulling back from battle, but he’s seemingly too old to continue fighting as he once did. In something of a reflection of its aged leader, Beowulf’s nation is crumbling around him, with enemies advancing on its borders as weakness, corruption, and cowardice hobble or take hold of many citizens.
As we recognize this, we see Beowulf ride up to the aftermath of a battle – a skirmish, really – where one member of the enemy force lies, still living, on the ground. When the fallen fighter rises and challenges him, Beowulf dismounts his horse and returns the challenge with an almost palpable violence, daring the other man – screaming at him, really – to strike him dead. There is an intensity to Ray Winstone’s performance here that is just magnificent – the self-loathing and exhaustion that constantly occupy his thoughts bleed through every syllable, although he doesn’t let it show in his words – and the fighter surrenders, crumbling in the face of his forceful advance. Instead of killing him, Beowulf tells his men to give his opponent a trinket and send him on his way; as he bitterly puts it, the man “has a story to tell now.”
This scene is easy to ignore, because it’s almost anti-climactic. What? No battle? No death? What is this nonsense?
Yet my thoughts kept returning to this scene, and I grew convinced that this scene defines what the entire movie is about.
Zemeckis and Gaiman decided to make a film about the differences between the substance of who we are and the ways in which we are perceived or remembered. The film destroys the poem because, according to the filmmakers, the poem never describes what actually happened. The film purports to do just that, to set the record straight.
Zemeckis asks his reader-viewers: You finished this poem and think Beowulf is noble? Are you sure? Or are you simply taking the author’s word for it?
The filmed events are very different from the poem, and the filmmakers seem to be arguing that these differences exist because history is written by those who gain the power to write it, and those with power often like to remember the rosy details – and omit the darker ones.
When we read Beowulf, we’re reading a story about a hero who doesn’t seem to have flaws. He’s strong, brave, intelligent – the man even lives for nearly a century!
As he’s written in legend, story, and song, Beowulf is impossibly noble, virtually unkillable - just about perfect. He is the figure we write about, not the one we meet in our everyday lives…for we live in an age where even our heroes must have flaws. He seems larger-than-life in death, in our fiction.
And that, the film states, is because he was decidedly less than that during his lifetime.
3. If I Gave Everything, Would You Still Listen to Me?
What does this have to do with Ben Gibbard’s father? What does this have to do with us?
Well, “Styrofoam Plates” and Beowulf are about how we choose to remember those we’ve lost – whether we remember them accurately, or whether we lie to ourselves and remember the dead the way we want to. Do we deck out our lies in suits? Do we speak kindly of the dead, tell stories of their goodness and virtue, because those stories are true – or because the telling is respectful, is indeed what is expected of us?
We’ve always written about heroes in specific ways that reflect the age that produced them. Beowulf is the byproduct of an age of superheroes – not caped crusaders, but men who seemed endowed with impossibly elevated abilities. To write about that hero any differently would be the equivalent of standing up at someone’s funeral and reminding everyone of his very human flaws and frailties. It might be the truth, but is that the right time and place for such honesty? Is that what people want to hear?
Ben Gibbard’s attitude towards his father may seem spiteful, but it’s genuine; there’s something to be said for truthfulness and accuracy.
On the other hand, Beowulf may indeed be exactly what Zemeckis and Gaiman argue it is: a lie wrapped in a legend. It just so happens that the lie turns out to be a better story than the “truthful” filmed version.
Zemeckis argues that we don’t remember Beowulf – that he left nothing behind but lies.
And Gibbard doesn’t want his father to have the privilege of leaving his lies behind.
What will you leave behind?
+ Are you everything you want to be to everyone you want? Have you ever been less – failed someone outright? Have you ever been more?
+ Do you build different faces for different places, different sides for different situations, and different people for different people?
+ Should you feel sad when someone dies? Should we feel sad when Beowulf falls? Should we be happy that he’s going out before the Geats crumble, and that he dies a warrior’s death – or does that make it more painful?
+ How do you deal with loss? How do you grieve? Is your grief a sign of your strength, or of your weakness? Is it honorable? Is it self-indulgent? Do you think about “missed opportunities” and feel guilty? Are you grateful for the opportunities you seized, for the good memories?
+ Have your feelings of loss been difficult to analyze? Are you afraid to examine the ways you react when you're emotionally wounded, or do you enjoy studying those types of feelings? (Can we even use “grief” as a label to describe our reactions to loss, considering that people react in such varied ways? Is the blanket accurate, or inaccurate?)
+ Are Zemeckis and Gaiman correct? Do we tend to remember figures from our pasts more favorably than they deserve? Do victors write history? Do we rewrite our memories out of respect? If we misremember someone, are we killing them again?
+ Let’s say you could choose to remember your friends and family in a specific way - but only one way. Would you prefer to hold idyllic memories of them, or accurate ones? (Remember, the only person who holds these memories is you - and only you can benefit from or be harmed by them.)
+ How would you like people to remember you – at your best, or as you are? How would you like your friends to remember you? How would you like your family to remember you? Do you think they'd respect your wishes – in other words, do you think they’d choose to remember you the way you chose here? Will history remember you more favorably or negatively than you deserve?
+ Finally, are you afraid to lose the ones you love, or are you more afraid they’ll lose you? Is the nun from another Death Cab for Cutie song (“I Will Follow You Into the Dark”) correct – is fear at the heart of love, and is love at the heart of your fears? Does love give you the strength to overcome these fears - or does it leave you vulnerable? (If it does, is this vulnerability a “bad thing”?)
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As always, write well, think well…and good luck.
1. “Smoke,” Ben Folds Five, Whatever and Ever Amen
2. “Gasoline,” Brand New, Daisy
3. “No Love,” The Get Up Kids, Four Minute Mile
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(Cough Cough...This is terribly long. Do not start if you are not going to finish it.)
This hardly feel like the last post for SFHP...
It seems like the game just started.
Or maybe it’s just me...
“Either define the moment or the moment will define you”(Walt Whitman)
Take a risk, make a reputation, do something different- make people remember “who you are” by “what you do”.
Siddhartha chooses to leave. Macbeth chooses to slaughter. Beowulf chooses to fight.
Three man, three different stories, three endings; They have defined the moments and left clearer pictures for us to see who they are. So let’s go back to the first day of school and revisit the questions that Feraco squabbled on the board.
“How readily do you understand other people? How readily do you allow people to understand you, and how thoroughly do they understand?” (Foundation Question)
My mother has said many times to me that I am the kind of person who put all the stories and emotions on my face so people can easily read what I am thinking or experiencing. And most people remember me as “loud and blant” or you can put it nicely “vocal and genuine”. If you ask me are these words honestly represent who I am. I would say “yes”. We make our first impression by our appearance. Then we show people our personalities (who we are) through what we do and how we present ourselves. And finally a reputation/ label is made and maybe would stick on our forehead forever(even after they dispose our physical bodies, they probably would still remember me as the girl who needs to shut up.) I have a really short life expectancy- I am happy if I can live till 64 and you probably can tell I have no interest in retirement and social security which I doubt there will be such things in the further future.
“Am I who everyone wants me to be?”
How about this question, “Is the government the way everyone wants it to be?”
“Have I been less?” Yes, I have been. I am like everyone else. I like to lower my standard when I face great difficulties. I chose the easy way almost all the time. But I know I am capable to achieve way more than what I have now. And I have been more, a lot more. The world is made up by people; people have expectations on each other, society, country, and world. When there are someone out there to push you, pressure you, or even help you to be who you really can be, you don’t fail them outright. You do what you can, take the risk and make people remember you.
Death has not been something common to us, at least I hope not. I still can feel the same emotion that I had ten years ago when my grandma died. I wasn’t sad for sure. I felt empty and lost. My grandma basically brought me up after my parents divorced. She was the mother figure to me;she has been the foundation of my morals. When your life support runs out, you don’t feel sad; you feel scared. That was my feeling towards her death, a mixture of emptiness, confusion and fear.
In an 8-year-old mind, responsibility or guilt is not something I would have in mind when someone dies. I was made to believe it was a fatal death because of the virus infection on her lung. There is the effect but what’s the cause? As I grow up, I look back my old memories that I shared with my grandparents. I realized I had never been a really obedient kid. And in a small part of me, I do feel guilty that I wasn’t someone that my grandma wanted me to be. Of course, I cherish my childhood. So far, childhood with my grandparents is the best part of my life. I wasn’t forced to learn anything. And I didn’t have all these pressure of school. It was just “fun” after “fun”. It was like those time period that nobody understand why it was so happy and you don’t want to share with anyone because you know they will not understand.
Death is not the end of us. The dangerous obsession of responsibility and guilt can take away the happy memories that we value so dearly. We have learned this ever since the get go from our young Jake Sisko. We were reminded again in “Up” again with Carl.
“Do not wait for a reason to be happy” (Mason Cooley)
I watched The Fountain by my own in the beginning of the winter break. It was a movie that makes you think. You cannot predict any part of the movie from the beginning to the end because the whole time with your mouth open, you will be like “WHAT’S GOING ON?!!!”. Unlike the ordinary love-death story, this one displays a huge deal of philosophy that we discussed over the course of SFHP. It is a story in three different stories that highlights the progress of grief and acceptance.
Another Foundation Question that we have discussed in the beginning of year,
“How should one face that which cannot be defeated?”
The movie started with the conquistador, Tomas, who is searching the mayan Tree of Life for his queen Isabelle whom is under attack from the turks. Then the screen flashes to Tommy, a medical researcher, tries to find the cure for cancer to prolong Izzi's life(his wife). Finally the movie moves to a strange storyline of a space man,Tom, (plays by the same actor, Hugh Jackman) protects the Tree of Life. The entire movie integrates these three storylines into one big theme.
Tommy could not accept the death of Izzi when Izzi already stated that she is no longer afraid. He holds on the physical form of his love. He wants to avoid something that cannot be avoided. When Izzi hands her novel to him and tells him to “finish it”, when the imaginary Izzi tells Tom to “finish” drawing his last ring, he decides to let go and abandon his scientific outlook on life, or simply human. The movie ends with Tom travel back in time when he rejects Izzi’s invitation to go for a walk in the first time, and chases after her when she gets out of the lab.
“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost” (G.K. Chesterton)
Just because she is gone doesn’t mean that she really is gone. The soul remains. To dearly love someone or value something is to understand that he or she or it can be lost. We cannot avoid or ignore grief. It takes progress for us to accept and understand the real value of the matters.
“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was” (Anne Sexton)
Beowulf has been the hero of the story, so he always would be the hero of the story. The authors has not shown any flaw of him besides the old age in the end. We no longer interpret literature the way that author intended to be in the first place. We perceive it in the way of how and what it presents to us. That’s why all that symbolism and theme and characters are so important to all the English classes. Maybe the Green light in Gatsby is just a green light to Fitzgerald. But as reader we analyze it to be the symbol of Gatsby’s desire of Daisy. It is hard for us to assume things that do not state directly in the words. There might be hints like rebellion of Scotland towards Duncan in the beginning of Macbeth. Nevertheless, Beowulf is a totally different story. We would always admire Beowulf doesn’t matter he chooses to die before the Geats falls. We would always despites Macbeth doesn’t matter if he suffers and regrets from his actions. And we would always learn from Siddhartha even he has chose the wrong paths at times. The words in each literature present to us different sides of the characters. We remember them on what they do instead of who they are. We hardly care about Beowulf’s boating personality. The vague pictures that our memories hold for these character maybe not the accurate person that they are shown in the books. But what’s the point of holding on the worst of a person? It doesn’t make you any happier or give you any more benefits. Why bother to points out the flaws of an already imperfect object?
When everything is settled, it comes down to happiness. What we choose to remember is how we are going to feel. It is foolish if we choose to remember the worst and still look for happiness.
“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere”(Agnes Repplier)
I really like the way you decided to organize everything and seperate everything into certain sections. I also really like your own input on The Fountain (as I have not yet seen it). Also, great quotes! Some of them are my absolute favorite! Keep it up!
i like the way you talked about your own experiences and the sources we learned in class to tie it all together! good job.
Oh boy. Mr. Feraco says specifically to not watch the fountain until you can watch it with him and what do you do? Go and watch it anyways.
I don't really know why, but that's actually kinda funny.
I really admire how you always make the most legit(imate) connections between things we learned and blogs and life and everything and movies and stuff. I find that really difficult to do and find myself talking about myself only... So I seriously commend you for that! You're really smart hahaha and thank you for always posting first and having such great things to say, as well as teaching me a few things about looking at the big picture and connections in order to understand the slightest of what goes on in Mr. Feraco's brains. Yes, plural. Great job!!!
“Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
Do you ever feel like you're fighting life? You feel like life wants to pull you one way but you fight and pull the other way? You feel the way you're pulling is right but every move you make just... it backfires.
And then you wonder why you are fighting. You wonder why you have to fight. Why it's not okay to pull your way. Why you try so hard but you don't succeed. Why you don't feel right going the way life seems to pull you. Why. Why do I even feel like life is pulling me?
I mean what am I doing wrong? I try to figure out a path and it goes wrong; vise versa. Maybe my idea of "right" is wrong. But it's my idea! So shouldn't it be right? What makes it wrong? What is wrong and what is right?! Not everything I think is right, I know that, but still. Most people know what they do to have “messed up”, for the most part I don’t... I only ask “why” knowing I won’t get an answer.
Do you feel like you're starting to realize things? And all you want to do is stop thinking and wish you'd stop making connections? Do you want it to stop because it scares you or because it ruins your idea of simple things? Do you ever wonder why someone who should love you always blames you for everything wrong? Do you wonder why someone who should love you hates you?
It's like that example with the test, either “P” or “Not P” is true. You wake up and no matter what your path is, you are going to fail or pass. But you don't know the answer! So no matter what you do your fail/pass will not change. I feel like that example, but in any case, I still have choices within my outcome. As Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going”.
Where did the holiday season of 2012 go?
Where was the “happy” that I believed came with it?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all felt wrong to celebrate. My family used to spend those holidays with my grandparents (my father’s parents).So when your grandma passes away before thanksgiving it makes life even more challenging. During each holiday dinner my father would tear up and I would lighten up the mood. As my sister put it during thanksgiving, “Sam, good thing you’re funny and can make people laugh. We are going to need a lot of your happiness for the holidays”.
I am grateful to have had such wonderful grandparents. I look at all the good that came from my relationship with my grandma... while the rest of my family seems to handle the loss differently. Of course I cry every now and then about it but I'm not going to let sadness win. I enjoy the world too much to keep my head down.
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” -Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter
“I give myself a good cry if I need it, but then I concentrate on all good things still in my life.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
I feel it is my job to stay strong, to bring back happiness during dinner and to comfort my sobbing younger sister at a funeral. And I stay strong until everything hits me. I become overwhelmed and sort of just break down silently. I mean, we all are human.
“All at once,
The world can overwhelm me
There's almost nothin' that you could tell me
That could ease my mind”
-All at once, Jack Johnson
But I believe that life is what you make it to be, it’s about figuring out what you want and how to get it. Eventually I will die and I want my death to be worth it. I want to be able to die happy knowing I have accomplished goals I set out for in my life. I want to be proud. I try my best to make sure I am living and not just alive.
Remember how in class the topic was about being great? How we all fear not taking that jump? I’m on the cliff ready to jump; waiting to jump. I do not want to rely on my safety net. I do not want to be a sleepy-eyed person. Like sleep, I'll miss out on something important. I don't know what it is but it's important. One day I'll miss it because I'm sleeping. I want to have my eyes wide open as I explore what I make of my life.
“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”
― Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper
What is freedom? What does it even mean to be free?
Siddartha, Tom, Macbeth, Beowulf and Carl each need freedom to do what they want. They all have the desire (desire=suffering) for personal satisfaction.
I believe freedom is something you taste (figuratively) during your lifetime but your last meal is death; the ultimate free. Like an emotion, people want to feel free. But no one says freedom is an emotion! Isn’t an emotion something you feel? Isn't being free the act of not feeling? Hmm, see the problem?
Charlie, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky says, “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite”. He is free from his limitations in his life, his mind, and boundaries. We all have had those rare moments where we felt infinite, just like the characters have too-
Siddhartha when he heard the river
Tom when Summer liked him
Macbeth when he went insane
Beowulf every time he is in battle/ boasting really
Carl when he let go of the house and went for the adventure out there
Will you make your freedom worth it?
I truly liked how you tied in not just Beowulf, but even the other books we have read. Great analysis.
I noticed there was a freedom question on the board and it got me thinking! Since most everything in this class is connected, I wanted to figure out what "freedom" meant to those characters!
I love love love your quotes! (especially the Harry Potter one that I felt related the best with your topic). I'm sorry for your loss but you definitely are a strong person and i'm glad your family has someone like you to light up the mood. Good examples!
I have secretly been wanting to use those quotes! Each source has left an impact on me and I felt a need to express myself (yay for this blog)!
Oh thank you. As my family says, "Sam, you're a tough cookie".
I love the way you incorporated your quotes into your post. I also really admire your relationship with your grandparents and your high spirit through those tough times. You also tied the stories and movies together nicely. Great job.
THIS IS AWESOME! BEST WORK EVER! FINISHED STRONG, SAM!
Like Sandy said, I love the way you get all your quotes in there. They nearly sound like quotes but simply your sentences.
Again, Good job there.
Thank you! My goal WAS to end strong and I'm happy you noticed my hard work. ahaha. Thanks again!
I liked your analysis and the use of all the works we read in class. Great read and great job!
Hi Samantha, I really like the part where you wrote life is what you make it to be. I totally agree on that! And also the quote is really cool, I wonder what the world would be like without the concept of time... Great post!
Sammie! I have no idea why I never choose to read you blog. I never realized (until now) how great and interesting you response can be. My favorite part of your blog is how you somehow manage to link all the books and films together because I just realized they all wanted something (personal satisfaction). Siddhartha wanted enlightenment, Tom wanted Summer, Carl wanted to live in South america, Macbeth wanted to be king, and last but no least Beowulf wanted to make sure that everyone have prosperity and happiness. Sam, I think you response was way too short, just kidding that is just to show how interesting I think your response is.
Thank you guys so very much! It really means a lot to me! I'm happy you enjoyed my last "real" blog post, "Go big or go home"!
500 days of summer? Check.
Wow, all you are missing is War and then you would have hit every base we covered in the class. Awesome blog, you really hit it out of the park with this one!
I like that part about the how freedom is the final meal. Since you mentioned all these characters who yearn for freedom, when they get it seems that they misuse it at first. Nice job.
I greeted her good morning…she gave me a kiss… I went to school and came out…only to hear the worst of news. She had past away. It was not sadness, nor grief that I was feeling when I first heard this. Just plain numb. I thought it was a joke, a horrible joke to be exact. I sat in the shower that day trying hard to process what I had just heard at the age of ten. I could feel the water hit my skin, the heat exfoliating my pores, but why couldn't I process that she was gone? My mother held me tight as she wept close to my cheek, I still felt the numbness, trying to convince myself before I slept it was all just a horrible dream that the next day I could greet her again and feel that morning kiss on my cheek.
No. she was definitely gone. Her funeral came; I wore a black dress, a pigtail and flats. I looked myself in the mirror just to see my outfit fitting me nicely, still feeling the emptiness and numbness written all over my face. I noticed people weeping at her grave, hugging the family members, and I stood still. Not a tear, nor a feeling rushing through me. The mask I wore when I first heard the news, did not come off till 3 years later.
From her death I learned, masks should not be worn at any given time. The mask does not represent weakness or an escape. She taught me, to wear the only mask I was given, the mask that held all my personality traits that others may see but could never take away, was just for me.
Walking the halls with my unique mask, I am not everything I want to be at this very moment. I have failed, and have gotten up and learned from the fall. I have even surprised myself to what I can achieve if I just set my mind to it. “Knowledge is power. As long as there are infinite books in this world, your goal is to read each and every one of them”,her words to me.
Her words made me attempt anything that came my way just as Beowulf attempted anything that was presented to him. He and I are a bit of the same tree, we do not wear masks in front of others when a challenge is presented, we are realists “I shall gain glory or die". 1490.
I would choose to have others remember me as a person who would always attempt anything, daring, safe, or something new to try. Even if I would fail, I could say I at least tried rather than not lifting a finger. Just as Beowulf asks near his death, “I took what came, cared for and stood by things in my keeping, never fomented quarrels, never swore to lie. All this consoles me". 2730.
I like your introduction.. it really drew me in. Good job tying it in with Beowulf too!
I have to agree, intro drew me into reading the rest of the paper! Overall, nice job!
Wow! Amazing introduction. Your creative structuralism in the introductory few sentences is just brilliant! Our actions on earth are traces of memories that never die. Good job!
just as the previous comments mentioned, great attention grabbing intro! I liked how you used a mask to express your thoughts and also your connection to Beowulf. great post.
thank you very much for your comments guys.
put a lot if heart into this last post.
Really liked your story! Loved how the transition and the tie-up from your story to Beowulf is nice and smooth.
Same with the others, the intro was really good!
I found it really easy to relate to and I totally agree on how our actions on Earth are traces of memories that never die.
I really enjoyed reading your post. I like how you tied it back to Beowulf in the end and i love your introduction.
Perceptions: “The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.” –Anonymous
I believe the people you want in life should be the ones you love and the ones that love you back, the ones that also want you to be in their life. To love someone and welcome them into your life is to accept them for whom they are, to stay by their side, and to remain loyal. I admit to have failed the people who wanted more out of me; however, I also know that those people will still stick with me until I am able to be more.
People build different personalities, faces, and sides of themselves for each situation they come across because it is only natural that you behave in the way that fits the most because of what society regulates as “normal.” People behave differently at work, with friends, and with family because it is impossible to have one way to act in each circumstance. I don’t think it means you are pretending to be someone you’re not, but that you must control what you do and say to maintain the way people perceive you. People may argue that we shouldn’t care what others think; however, what people who know you think of you is also who you are.
Death: “Are you afraid to lose the ones you love, or are you more afraid they’ll lose you?”
I’ve always been interested in the quote “leave before you are left,” how ironic is it to leave the ones you love before they are able to leave you. Doesn’t that mean you leave your happiness behind in order to prevent it from leaving you, which still leaves you without the happiness? However, in the case of death, as selfish as it may sound, I would want to die before my loved ones because it would be too hard to cope with the death of someone I love.
7 Stages of Death:
1.Disbelief 2.Denial 3.Bargaining 4.Guilt 5.Anger 6.Depression 7.Acceptance and Hope
She passed away.
I still have no words to describe how I feel because it’s so much easier to not feel, or to just avoid everything I feel. I’ve never dealt with anyone close to me passing away, the initial feeling should be sadness; however, my initial feeling was confusion.
How could someone who has been there every single day of my life just leave? It’s hard to believe that people can leave forever. There’s no way to say one last word to them, give them one last hug, or one last peck on the cheek. You’ll never see them smile again or tell you about their day. Then you wonder: why did I ever waste a second I had with them worrying about little things when every second should have been spent preciously. Time always runs out.
Grief is a sense of strength that you are able to remember the person for who they were; however, grief is also a sense of weakness if you think of who that person could have become. To remember a person should be a happy process; however, to regret that the person should have had more time can tear you apart. While I remember her, I feel like my grief isn’t honorable but self-indulgent because her death has already happened and the only thing to do is to celebrate who they were by remembering the good memories.
Feelings of loss are difficult to analyze because my method of coping was to block everything out. Facing death has been a new experience for me, to feel the pain of loss, and to examine how fragile a person’s life is. A person comes into the world; within seconds they have already created a web of people who care about them. When a life is taken, the strings of that web are broken and they must also be fixed.
Memories: “Only a fool trips on what is behind him.”
I would choose to remember each person I have encountered with idyllic memories of them because I wouldn’t want to waste my last moments remembering all the bad memories filled with hate and regret, but rather remember them happily. “Only [I] can benefit from or be harmed by them.” I would choose the memories that make me happy rather than be burdened by bad memories.
If I were to pass away, I would want people to remember me at my best and worst. To remember the good I did, but also remember the mistakes I’ve made yet to not define me by my mistakes. I hope they will remember me by my imperfections but to still remember me with happy memories.
I REALLY LIKED YOUR QUOTES.
I also could not agree more with most of the stuff you said!
I also think that you should surround yourself with the people who ADD to your happiness. Who love you for you. Who know you. The kinda people who know the real you. The kind of people who you’d want to speak at your funeral. I don’t know about you, but I personally get rid (the best I can) of the people opposite of those ideas. Why would you want to be friends/connected to someone who brings you down?
YES! Just because you have/build different “yous” for situations I don’t think you are fake. Like you said, they just have control. Oh gosh, I like your post.
I enjoyed the first part the best (the rest was just as wonderful!), as you can tell. So thanks for the read!
That first quote definitely drew me in. I saw it a while ago and I loved it. And it is so relevant to your topic!
Actually I liked all of our quotes, not going to lie.
Your entire post was so deep and I loved when you wrote "why did I ever waste a second I had with them worrying about little things when every second should have been spent preciously" because I agree, forever isn't ever enough.
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. Wish you the best.
Naughty or Nice?
As our final hours in Mr. Feraco’s first semester SFHP class draws near, it’s important to connect and recognize what we have learned since August. How much have you grown since then? How has your perspective on life changed? What would you like to take out of this class? How will you be remembered?
I vividly remember my first day as a senior. I walked onto campus thinking, “Wow, high school is almost over. This is my last year here at Arcadia High School. How will I differentiate myself from the other 3,600 students? How will I be remember?” After realizing that I probably only knew half of the kids at school, maybe ever less than that, I wanted to make an effort to try and get to know more of them. Even if a simple, “Hi,” or , “How are you doing,” made their day better, I’d walk away from high school feeling better.
Now, as most of you already know, we only have one more semester left.
One more chance to make a difference.
If you haven’t done well in High School these past 3 1/2 years, this could be your chance to take control of your future. This could be the semester that changes your life but the time is now. I regretfully procrastinated a lot in high school, and I’m sure a lot of you probably have too, so let’s get our act together and use all of our great potentials.
Are you everything you want to be to everyone you want?
I’ve met roughly 5000 people in my lifetime. Therefore, there are 5000 Michaele Corbisieros in the world because each person I’ve met has a different perception of me, clouded by bias and prejudice that obscures the “real” me. Even my own opinion is skewed by egoism and selfishness. I may appear hideous to some, yet beautiful to others. Is there a “real” Michaele Corbisiero?
An integral part of life is realizing that people will think what they will of you; you can’t force respect, yet I have gone through life striving to leave a positive impact on those around me. Hopefully, there aren’t too many hideous Michaeles running around.
I know that I try to stay consistent with how I act when I’m around people. I’m always the same person, with the same personality, but I do change how I talk to certain people. For example, my vocabulary or actions are different when I’m with my friends then when I’m with my teachers. This is normal though, I don’t consider this changing myself to conform to the people I am with; but rather, it’s using a different filter and it’s recognizing what’s respectful or socially acceptable.
Although, as I wrote in the blog, “Inquiring Minds want to know,” some people do change their image to get others to like them. For instance, many high schoolers join sports, take classes, and even volunteer so that they can create this facade for college’s to like, not because of their genuine interest in what they partake in.
In “Search for a Form of Clarity,” I wrote that I wasn’t afraid of death because it is natural and it’s guaranteed for everybody. Although, after reflecting more on the topic, my stance on this particular subject has changed. While it is important to celebrate one’s life, it’s also very emotional to lose someone. Knowing that you lost someone forever is something hard to grasp and time is really the only medicine.
I think that we should feel bad when Beowulf falls. He was a hero in the book and brought me so many good feelings that I do feel bad that he dies. While it stinks to realize that he falls, I’m happy that he died in the line of duty because it symbolizes how hard he fought in life. Beowulf spent his last ounce of energy fighting for the people he loved and it’s an honorable death.
When you die, wouldn’t you want to know that you died fighting for what you love?
When I lose someone I tend to shy away from my energetic personality and I reflect on the times that I had with that particular person. The first couple days after losing someone is the worst because it’s hard to hold my emotions back and other people that know me realize that something is wrong - and I don’t like opening up to people, I’d rather make them feel better than have them make me feel better. After getting past the first couple of days after a death, I return to my normal self in public but the grief and sadness lurks in my head. It takes a lot of time for me to get over the loss of someone I loved, I feel guilty for the missed opportunities.
Even though I don't like talking about what I really feel I’ve come to realize that it really helps - so talk to someone you trust about what you may be going through.
I enjoy talking about death but find it hard for me to truly open up. For me, “grief” is a great word to use after I lose someone, although, everybody is different. Therefore, everbody react to death differently. They may be happy - no, not in an evil way - but happy for all the times spent with the one they love.
“Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you feel the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven
Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?
I'll find my way through night and day
'Cause I know I just can't stay here in heaven
Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart, have you begging please, begging please
Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure
And I know there'll be no more tears in heaven
Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you feel the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven”
I would like to be remembered as a good person - i think everybody wants to - but I want it to be authentic. If I grew up to be a bad person and I wasn’t respectable, I woulsn’t want to be remembered as someone I wasn’t. I think that they will say good things no matter what I end up being like, they tend to do this for everyone. They say things that people want to hear when it can be completely false! If I were to pass away today, (maybe even as I write this essay for how long I’ve been writing) I think that history would remember me more favorably.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
I really enjoyed reading your post for this week! I thought it was very clever the way you explained how all the many people you've met have different perceptions of you by saying "there are 5000 Michaele Corbisieros in this world." I definitely agree with you on how we come off differently to different people only by ways of being "respectful or socially acceptable."
I really liked this post. The part about the 5000 version of you stood out to me as being particularly enlightened; that was an interesting way to look at it, and it really impressed me.
All in all, a solid piece. Good work, man.
What are we?
Who am i?
Who the [heck] are you?
Who the [heck] would care?
Identity of a person has a funny way of never being exact. Many people act like one person and then change around others and then start to change around no one and simply just change and realize the change is a change worth changing, holy molly that lots of change.
But was the change really worth it?
Once upon a time there was a child named Anthony. He was a cocky kid. Got really good grades, was really athletic and not to mention a real looker.
He grew up to be Anthony the not so smart but still athletic guy. But he became more than he was.
He grew up to care and help his mother, help raise his brother, be a dependable bestfriend and a lovable boyfriend. H ebecame an artist. Became a football player. He became an actor. He became an lead singer of a rock band. He became a P.E. teacher. He became me.
And being me, I often ask myself this question.” If I died right now, could I honestly say I lived?”
I always say I lived but im not done yet.
There are so many things I want to become and for other people. I want to become a protector for my family.I want them to lean on me in time of need and for to be able to help them as they helped me when I was a child.My mother raised me by herself and did a spectacular job. She taught me right from wrong and sometimes to do whats right rather than whats smart. I want to give back to her the way she did for me.
I want to be a rock for my mother.
It wasnt too long after the finally shaping of me, lead me to see that I was only one half of a whole…
And I found the other, her name is Sara without the H. She is the most amazing site I have ever seen. She couldn’t be compared to anything else in the world. She is Sara and she’s MY rock. Im constantly in need of her strength when I cant hold up with my numerous responsibilities and commitments. She’s the reason I have the strength to keep going. She , she, she, she, …
We are happy, and that’s something everyone should have. But she also needs me. I want to be her rock. I help her with whatever she needs and this makes me happy. I can be someone she can depend on. Someone to protect her from harm and be hard for her when she needs it.
Its not just about me anymore…
And there have been moments where I have forgotten that. And others reeped the consequences.
Then I became sad. I became angry. I became scared. I became ashamed. I wasn’t who I thought I was. But realizing that, reminded me that I was still in there somewhere and that I needed to Rock on.
So ill Rock On.
I really enjoyed reading your post and I feel the same way with my family too. I love the way you describe your girlfriend.
Sadness is just one of the many array of emotions that we carry within ourselves. Our brain is naturally designed to alert our body to feel pain, happiness, etc whenever something affects our emotions, like death. Death is part of our life cycles as human beings, therefore it is not unusual for a person to experience the death of a close person at least once in their lifetime. However, each time such ordinary happening occurs to our loved ones we feel pain. Many of us, including myself, feel little to no pain when someone that we do not have an acquaintance with passes away. This to me, seems a little cold hearted. If you think about it, human beings are all inter-related with each other in some way or another. We are all inhabitants in a single environment that we call Earth, we share similar qualities that make us human beings, and we all branched out from Adam and Eve, the first human beings. So whenever someone dies, even if they are not of our acquaintance, we should feel pain. One thing that we should take note however, is that life goes on. The initial pain will subside and those alive should go about living their own lives.
The death of Beowulf brings mixed emotions. From one side, it is painful to see our protagonist end his life in a way that defined his life(fighting monsters). However, if we see it from the other side, we should be happy that he meets his end doing what he desires. As I write this, I suddenly feel like every death bring two sided emotions. Sadness for the loss of a soul, but happiness that the life cycle continues and new life comes into being. The aftermath of Beowulf's death, the crumbling of the Geats, is surely painful. The death of our hero, although very heroic, still brings sadness. However, because of the reason that death is part of the life cycle and that Beowulf died doing what he truly defined him, we should feel relief.
If you were to ask me whether I am more afraid to lose the ones I love, or if I am more afraid that my loved ones will lose me, I would go with the latter. This is because I am selfish. Let me rephrase the statement. If you were to ask me whether I am more afraid to lose the ones I love, or if I am more afraid to lose myself, I would go with the latter. Yes, we should all feel pain for the death of a person, but as I've stated above, life goes on. Having a life to live is a privilege. Being alive means that there are doors of opportunity to look forward to. Getting a dream job, meeting our husband and wives, living the American dream, etc. Losing my loved ones will surely pain me, but I know I will move on. I am definitely more afraid of dying than watching my loved ones pass away before me. In my selfishness as a human being, living is better. Because after all, life continues.
"There is good to be found in all your situations
So you've got to make the best of all these occasions
Know that difficult times can be your best teacher
They can become lessons that all your life will treasure
So take a few minutes... distract yourself from your concerns
For, from these situations precious lessons you can learn
And as you learn and blossom, as you grow strong in faith
Mature in understanding, and you relinquish hate
Remember to reach for the good, stand firm and don't even give up
Because life continues around us... living never stops
and though your troubles may all seem to mount and stop time
And for a moment it seems you can't find peace of mind
Know that there is good in life even today
And that peace of mind is never too far away
So just take a few moments to draw strength from the trees
Find pleasure in a bird's song or just sway in the breeze
Life is a series of levels, cycles of ups and downs
Some easy, some challenging, some funny as circus clowns
Life is what you make it so don't forget to wear a smile
Have faith you're going to make it though it may take a while
Don't ever lose your sense of humor and never succumb to fear
Don't say die before you do because you won't have a prayer"
Life Continues by Pamilla deLeon-Lewis
I really enjoyed your perspective on human being and how are closer than we perceive. In a religious perspective we are connected but I also agree with you that its part of life if we die whether you are a kin of that person. Very good job!
I admire your honesty and your viewpoint is very interesting. I enjoyed reading this, good job.
Josh, I like how you spoke your mind. I also respect with your views on humanity. Good Post!
I like the way you approached the last question: truthful, and something that people can relate to.
Your view on how death can simultaneously bring out two sides is spot on! Good post!
I liked how you mentioned selfishness, because people are naturally selfish, you didn't try to sugarcoat it or anything. I agree with you however, it would be way to difficult to watch all my loved ones die before me.
I stared at the family portrait.
One, two, three, four, five. Yup, we’re all there.
Then I stared at my procreators. There are only two.
Only two people yet these two people created a monstrous ripple.
A ripple that will never quite settle, a ripple carried through me.
Am I everything they wanted me to be? Do I possess the qualities they were always hoping for? Can they forgive me if I don’t?
Parents pass on morals, views, and characteristics and much more to their children in hopes of making meaningful human beings; human beings worthy of their standards and of society. This is my way of living.
Everything I do is in hopes that my parents would approve and/or be proud. I always question if my parents would be happy or devastated by my choices in life. The two people I never hope to disappoint. How could I, they were the ones that created me.
My mom always tells me “A parent should never have to bury their child.” but then a child thinks, but what if I did die?
There’s a 110% chance that my parents would cry over me, over my lifeless body. But why cry?
Yes, I guess I did leave a little earlier than expected. Yes, I guess I didn’t enjoy all that life had to offer. Yes, I’m sure we would’ve created more memories, enough memories to fill a great number of albums. Yes, you did a great job of raising me.
I don’t want my parents to remember me for my biggest accomplishments but for my failures that did everything but drag me down. For the times I learned that HOT means hot or a negative times a negative is a positive and not another negative and not for the times when I learned how to bike ride or figured out how to write in cursive. My mistakes and my hardships have shaped me to what I am today, to what I stand for. I don’t want a glorified view; I need a truthful view for my parents. I need them to know I wasn’t always an angel and that I made mistakes constantly so I can live on as myself and not a fake image of a perfect past. I need the ones that created me, if in the horrible occasion that I do die, to know they created a human being, one that lived, learned and pushed forward in an effort to provide nothing but the best.
I know this is an easier concept for them to grasp for they always brag how they were once a teenager too.
I hope I never have to put my parents through that pain, but a child can only imagine.
I loved your response and how you said that you want your parents to tell the truth about you and not say you are an angel or something. I looked at the question and I didn't know how to answer it because I don't know if I would want my parents to tell the truth or lie about the good things. You did a great job and a great post!
I think we all try to impress our parents Bianca, so don’t feel like you are the only one. When we grow up we do carry some of our parents traits with us. Some good and some bad. We always try to make them proud but I applaud you for wanting to be remembered for being the true person that you are and not just some fake angel. Nice blog.
The sentence "But why cry?" caught my attention and I really wanted to know your explanation. You explained yourself clearly and fittingly answered the question.
I can't deal with losses. Its not because I don’t grieve, nor is it because I am heartless. Rather, I would say I overreact.
I don’t know how to deal with these losses, I panic, I deny their deaths, and I go into shock.
It is almost as if I am still a little child, unable to understand the concept of life and death.
I remembered the day I heard of my grandmother’s death from my mom.
I didn’t know what to reply to her, so I just sat in my seat mouth slightly open and replied with a soft grunt “yea”.
The rest of the day was rather uneventful, I tried to remember all the good memories I had with my grandmother and all the times we spent together... I couldn’t
I was so distracted by her death, that was all I could think about, I couldn’t remember anything, I couldn’t remember her face nor her voice, all I know, is my disbelief that she is no longer part of this world.
Later that night, in bed, I tried again to remember who she was, and I saw something interesting.
Perhaps I was half-asleep or even dreaming, but I distinctively remember.
Nothingness, an endless whiteness expanded infinitely.
I dreamed of nothing and I saw nothing.
And I forgot...
It was as if, with her death, all of my memories with my grandmother were all wiped away by some special forces. The only memories I had left were left on photos, letters, and words.
It would have been better if things ended here... But it doesn’t
Just because I cannot remember by myself, does not mean I was not influenced by outside resources
On certain occasions, as long as I see something related to her, my eyes would get watery almost immediately, and on more extreme cases tears would stream down my face uncontrollably. Its almost as if my subconscious is crying.
Though, I suppose this could be apart of my strength. I don’t feel regret or sadness, I simply could not react to it consciously. So I cannot regret people’s death and for things that we could have done together but did not.
I wonder, if I could remember, how I would react to death.
*Funny story, well not exactly that funny but yea~
So for a period of time near the end of 2012, I was feeling rather bored and decided I am in the mood for crying, so I asked my friends for a bunch of tragic animes to watch. One of them, Anohana, I did indeed cry, the plot was indeed very sad and it did achieve in making me cry, however I was heavily influenced by the setting and the familiarity of the anime, it made me remember all of the things that I had missed and loved. Another anime, Clannad (both seasons), I was so sad, I relapsed into shock and couldn't cry. Now that I think about it, it was lame.~
Honestly, I’m not sure if I can give an unbiased opinion on this topic. Personally I believe that every person has, and must have multiple personalities; or to a lesser extend, multiple ways to deal with different people. For example, a friend, person A has a short temper and is very impatient with things, so how would one interact with him? Obviously, person A in order to please him, one would have to be on his toes and work very fast. However, if another one of your friend, person B, is a very patient and slow person who likes to work at his own pace, if you were to interact with person B the same way you interact with person A. One would easily leave person B in the dust and would soon lose this particular friend.
Of course we should feel sad when someone dies. No matter how horrible the person is, no matter what atrocity the person has committed, he is still loved by someone he knows. A death is a death, there are no reasons to celebrate a death, for it is someone else’s suffering. We should definitely feel sad when Beowulf died. Many people argued that he died an honorable death, and he died peacefully as he was gone before the Geats crumbled.
But so what. Perhaps if he hadn’t died, nothing would
I definitely agree that all of us have multiple personalities to some extent. You make a good point saying that everyone is different and therefore require varying approaches in order for us to relate better to them. They're all still "me" and I'm not straying away from my true identity, but rather just adapting for better results.
I agree with your statement that there is no reason to celebrate death. A reasonable response to a person's death, besides mourning, is to remember the most outstanding characteristics of that person. Knowing that they will eventually pass away, people should shape their lives into something that is worth remembering. Good job!
I like your point where you stated that when a person dies, there is someone else suffering. But if I know the person has done terrible things to me or my family, I probably would not feel sad for the loss, maybe it's just too hard for ordinary people to grieve for their enemies.
i agree with you about not regretting peoples' death and the things we did and couldnt do with them. The part about looking for tragic anime made me laugh haha. Thanks for the post jason!
Your first sentence was interesting. Over reacting? Never thought of it that way but it is good to see a new perspective. By the way, no need to be sad over death although I am completely contradicting myself at the moment...learn to let go if you love them right? Living isn't as wonderful as it seems. Life is cruel at some point and the worst part? It can get worse.
I really like your post.
It's funny how when someone dies, they just become memories; it's weird. Then you start to wonder "is this all"?
No one closed to me died yet so I can't fully comprehend what you just said but in a way I understand the feeling parts of your memory disappearing. The feeling of remembering something yet can't remember it exactly always feel horrible.
This sentence, "A death is a death, there are no reasons to celebrate a death, for it is someone else’s suffering." really caught my attention. Your points are very interesting! Thanks for the good read!
A funeral commemorates. A funeral takes effort. A funeral saddens.
A funeral is not free.
To hold or attend a funeral means to acknowledge that the deceased, at some point, had a quality or did a deed worthy of remembrance. No matter what their misdeeds are, no matter how bad of a person they were, if one is present when the deceased is being laid to rest, one accepts that there was at least some potential for goodness that the deceased fulfilled. This is what we celebrate with a funeral. We save the bad memories for the stories after the fourth glass of tequila.
"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
From the perspective of a mourner, I can understand why we choose to only think, or at least only say, the good things about people who passed away. We are a forward thinking society, and we tend to carry on things that helped, or will help, push us forward. Our success stories are sources of inspiration. Even our failure stories are disguised lessons. In that respect, what purpose does reminiscing on the worst parts of people serve? No emotional debts are going to be repaid by spiting a person after their passing. Reminiscing on the best parts, on the other hand, is much more beneficial. My mind constantly reinforces this when I enter Mr. Feraco’s classroom and see my “The World Around You” poster. We share characteristics with the people we surround ourselves with. We are influenced by them just as they are influenced by us. When we remember the best parts of them, we are also subconsciously remembering the parts inside of us that they implanted. The epic Beowulf just does this to monumental extremes, creating a man larger than life.
In a conflicting stance, I find myself wishing to be remembered as a man, and yet wishing to remember my friends and family idyllically. The latter, I believe, comes from the time I have, and will, invest with these people. I want to believe that I have chosen my circle of friends well. I want to believe that my decades spent with family were worth it. As I stated previously, the people my friends and family are reflects the person I am, and I wish to possess the luxury of being able to think highly of myself. On the flip side of the coin, being remembered as just the best of what I have been seems like a robbery of the other part of my existence. I accept that “we will become silhouettes when our bodies finally go” (Ben Gibbard, The Postal Service, We Will Become Silhouettes). My image needs no more plastic surgery after that; it is fine as it is.
"The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost.” - G.K. Chesterton.
The multiple occurrences of losing those close to me have prepared me to accept the inevitability of these events. To me, it is a constant reminder to spend my time with these people wisely, nothing that instigates much fear. The fear of losing those I love and cherish pales in comparison to being lost to those I love. When I openly emit an emotion as intense as love, I expect to receive a similar emotional response in return. As I, at this point in my life, do not believe in an afterlife, I believe the end of this life is my final destination. Like many others, I wish to live as long as I can, even as a silhouette in the memories of others. When I die, my body will perish. When others forget, their memories of me will perish.
We are said to live on after death in those closest to us.
When I am finally lost to them, I will not be a real person.
I will not be an image.
I will not be a silhouette.
I will not be a shadow.
I will be gone, forever.
I am glad you want to remember others their best. And I admire you that you want others to remember you as who you really are instead of the idyllic images of you. It takes bravery to remain real and accept death just like that.
"If I am gone then I am gone."
I believe in afterlife an souls and many other supernatural things that don't need scientific reasons to prove. We just have to believe. Maybe we just have to take a small step out of our comfort zone to see the world with open minds and more beauty and savage that lie in between the endings.
I can appreciate your viewpoint of an afterlife. Faith in the unknown can help us leap the flames when the time comes. It is that very step of believing, however, that seems to elude me. As you probably could have guessed in the course of the semester, I hold logic to a very high regard. It is my pocket aces. I believe in a world that has cosmic uncertainties that can and will be explained with time. It is for this reason that I cannot accept the existence of the soul. It is a situation much like the allegory of the cave. Should I believe the man who returns to the cave proclaiming that he has seen the light? Or, should I wait till I have indisputable evidence in my face?
I do not wish to offend anyone reading this, so please skip the following if you are sensitive on this subject.
Whatever the case may be, thanks for reading and commenting my post, as well as all the other ones throughout the semester.
I almost fell asleep waiting for this. It is always exciting to discuss Profound matters with you because the huge difference we hold on our views.
There are a lot of things we have no scientific explanination. And we get all these ideas from different philosophers, novelists. And they are fantastic ideas that challenges human brain to interpret them logically and scientifically. But sometimes, the scientists, mathematicians seems just can't find the right answer for the complicated "integrals". So the monists failed and they say since we can prove it and there is no evidence, therefore such things don't exist. Well, in retrospect, only because of we don't see it and can't understand it, so we just deny it.
Here is the point, how can we deny something that we don't know about. As for logic, if soul and afterlife is a mystery then it shall neither be disapproved nor approved. Therefore soul and afterlife do have certain possibility of their existence according to logic and many philosophers. Lastly, i think we shouldn't let curioristy dies out because of logic.
I am looking forward for your response. I hope this doesnt confuse you. Enjoy having conversation with you, always with respect.
I do not know if it was just me, but it seems half of my response went missing. Anyways, the stance that I take is like the statement in the justice system of "innocent until proven guilty." To summarize what I had said, in my view, the concept of the soul, its quality of being eternal, is juxtaposed with the mortal and finite qualities of our lives. The point was to have something that could not be proven wrong, to bring uncertainty that would promote a certain set of behaviors that fit a society, just as Beowulf promotes courage and living up to your word. For a specific case where the soul is believed to exist, we have Christianity, which entails that one lifetime determines the fate of a soul that stays forever. If we choose not to believe and are wrong, we will suffer for an eternity. If we choose to believe and are wrong, there is no harm done. It is like if I tell you that I am a billionaire and I am willing to give out most of my fortune. In the case that you are wrong, you lose your opportunity of an easy life. If you do believe and are wrong, you lose nothing except a bit of disappointment.
Just as you say that the possibility of a soul is not provable, I say that the scientists have not proven the mysteries, (*yet*). Mankind did not start with what we have now. At one point, the Earth was said to be a plate-like object, we now understand it to be a roughly spherical object. Mankind has progressed. It develops. It learns. It treads areas we could not have even possibly imagined a century before (see Higgs Boson).
Of course, we will not be around for the time when the soul is proven to exist or not. In this respect, we take the role of the philosophers, who explain to the best of their ability based on their opinions. I've bet on my horse, and you've bet on yours.
I fell asleep, sorry.
The eternal life that Christians believe does not contradict with how we live our lives. I see the morals and principles that bible teaches are rather something that most of us should take in consideration. We do have to earn our eternal lives, we have to be good, kind, and live our lifes according to morals. The eternal life is not provided just because you are a Christian( that is just the first step). So the value of afterlife does not really contradict with how we should live our lives now. It should only be a greater purpose than an excuse to make the lives we have on earth worthless.
I hope we will have more chance to talk about this more deeply. This might not be the end in the end. Thank you
I liked how detailed you were in your post and I liked your use of words. Great job and great read!
Hey Matthew. I cannot agree with your post more. I don't think many people realize that our success stories as well as our failures serve a purpose in our life. It teaches us how to be better as individuals and when we die, people remember us for the good we have done in our lives. Also, when we die, we can only hope to be remembered by those we have touched while we were still alive
I really liked reading your post, Matt, but I have to disagree...I feel like our actions still linger on, even after we die!
Regardless though. Excellent post! Got me thinking.
My personality is shrouded by a world viewed by others; and in a world filled with so many interactions, comes many faces that I must be show.
I’m a people pleaser. I’m a school politician. I’m a leader.
If anything, I feel obligated to be what my peers expect me to be. As much as I wish to say I am myself all the time, I just can’t. The Alex people see when I’m at home is far different than the Alex you’re going to see walking around school. No matter how much I try, I am not myself.
The sad part of having these alter egos is that there are way too many faces that I can possibly handle myself. Being everything I want to be to everyone is upright impossible. At this point, I would like to say that I always exceed my peer’s expectations and continue writing about the influence I have on them; however, I always come up short. As difficult it is for me, or anyone for that that matter, to say that I’m not always good enough, I must.
I always come up short.
Although I always come up short, and I admit this here, this is not how I want to be remembered. I don’t think anyone does. However, I don’t feel as though coming up short is something wrong with me, rather, as human nature. We all feel as though we come up short because expectations we set for ourselves overshadow the expectations of others.
I always ask myself whether I’m going to leave this world with a bang. After the Ed Shreiner, Dr. Sutro, my ASB advisor, told something that will probably stick with my for the rest of my life. He told me “the things we are remembered by are by the way you present yourself” followed by a powerful, moving speech that you would only hear from Dr. Sutro. To be quite honest, the only things flowing through my mind were a bunch of profane words. I was frustrated and scared that I would not leave much of anything on this planet to call my own.
In all hopes, I would want to be remembered as… someone. That’s all I ask for. Not someone that gets hidden in the back of people’s minds and eventually forgotten, but as someone that sparks nostalgia for being a positive memory. Isn’t that all anyone could hope for? We don’t find interest in money when we’re dead, so being the treasure of someone’s memory is the next best thing.
When my grandfather passed away, I had plenty of things to be angry at. I was angry at how I didn’t get to see him before he passed. I was angry that we didn’t really say much to each other the last time I saw him. I can only remember him as someone I wish I could’ve done more with.
This is not how I want to remember him. This would not be how I would want to be remembered. Regret soon followed.
With that being said, I personally don’t believe that Zemeckis and Gaiman’s statements are accurate. I remember my grandfather a lot less favorably than he deserve. My memories still remain not rewritten. However, misremembering my grandfather sure feel like I’m killing him all over again.
I miss and respect my grandfather immensely, but all I can remember him by are those opportunities I should’ve seized; I could’ve seized; but I didn’t seize.
On the subject of being what you want to be to everybody, I believe that you're failures are a source of progress. To fail means that you try. We often say that perfection is impossible, and, in a sense, it is true. But, it is the process of aiming to be perfect that gets us closer and closer to the target. Using Mr. Feraco's analogy, you need to have target to fire the arrow remotely accurately. Nice post to end the semester, Alex.
Hi Alex! Don't stop trying and putting in the effort. It'll all be worth it. Overall good post.
“It isn’t the man with the gun that lives forever; it’s the man behind it”
Seventeen years on earth seems like a long time but actually it is not enough time to explore the beauty and wonders that life has to offer. Inborn biological traits are not necessarily the greatest factors that constitute the person we are today. It is the experiences, the emotional roller coasters, friends, families, dreams and etc. that make us the person we are today. I have loved and loss. I have lived in learned. But I still have begun to fully open my aching eyes to what life really means. When Mr. Feraco gives lectures, it seems as if my mind slowly expands like a stretch. Yesterday he explained to us the correlation between actions and motivations. People are judged by there actions because there is no metrical system that measures the motivation and determination that is behind the actions.
“Its never too late too change, but then again it is”
The minute our heart stops pumping, our legacy is left behind. The legacy we leave behind is a memory of what we left behind. It is during that last minute that people feel regret, guilt, and sadness because they realize that every second is as valuable as the next.
If I were to die today, I would be one of those people. My actions have not been the wisest. The decisions and drive to make those decisions were negative and consequently I suffered for that. I can not blame anybody but else but myself. As I mentioned before we are defined by are actions. Our actions are defined by our drive and motivation to perform those actions. Our motivation is formulated by desire when we perceive something might or might not want, then desire acts like a catalyst. The ability to follow through with our actions is fed through by surrounding things such as relationships, hobbies, personal virtue and self image. Varying types of motivation or desire can cause the same actions by different individuals. In a mathematical perspective, people’s actions are the outcome or “Y” and motivation, desire, and virtue etc. is “X”.
I want to be a man of success, rather than becoming of success and the only way of achieving that is to change my mentality and perception on life. With a new mindset I can accomplish goals and expectations. I can rip through the yellow tape without hitting a wall halfway through the race. People will get remembered for winning races.
Anthony, you're very courageous for using your own quotes. I respect that.
But your whole essay is very... vague.
Your actions may not have been the wisest. You know the painful sting of suffering. You're a man with ambition and drive. But what actions? How did they lead you to suffer? What do you strive for? And how would you define success?
I don't know if you're just uhhh "sull-bhitting" this essay or if you really haven't been taught this. Readers (well, most) will have a hard time understanding what you mean and taking you seriously.
Elaborate on what you say. There is not a word limit, so pour your heart out.
If you're afraid of sharing with others something personal, perhaps that something should not be written at all.
P.S. You may come across as either arrogant, lazy, or satirical when using your own quotes.
I definitely agree with you Anthony. It is not only the biological traits that make us who we are, but it is also the experiences we go through every day that shape us into the people we are today. I really liked your post and how you said Mr. Feraco’s lectures slowly make your mind bigger as I think it does for all of us. This was a really good blog
It's true that we need to win races in order to be remembered. People usually don't remember the person who came in eighth. They remember the person who came in first. Although people say it may never be too late too change, it can be. Once we die we can't change ourselves. Only other people can. Even then, it's only their view and not you.
Losing something or someone that you love can make even the happiest fall.
Not being able to hold what you use to. Not being able to continue making memories. Realizing that whatever you lost is actually gone, pierces the heart and sends some sad, tingly, cold feeling through your body. It sucks.
In 2006, my family and almost all my relatives from California went to the hospital where my grandpa had been a patient. There was not one smile in the room, everyone knew how the night was going to end. One by one we went to go see him, lying there on his death bed. One by one, we went to say our last goodbye. One by one, we all started to cry. There were tears in everyone’s eyes. All the kids, including myself, sat in one big circle, telling our favorite memories with him.
I tried not to cry, I was holding it in as much as I could, but I couldn’t hold it back.
Everyone cried, and just because we all did does not mean we were weak. He helped every single one of us, he made all of us smile, and he was always, always smiling himself. Knowing that he was gone forever just set everyone off in a world of tears. Our tears just showed how much he affected all of us.
When my family and I got home, I sat in my room just thinking. I was named after my grandpa, and I always tried to be like him when I was younger and I still do today. Just another reason why I keep smiling. Remembering all the good times I had with him did help and that was my way of getting over his death.
The guilt of missing out on something. It eats me on inside every time I think about it. I missed many of them when I was younger. Like when some of my close cousins, my uncle, grandpa and my brother went to Mexico. I thought it was dumb, but once I saw the pictures they took, the things they did, I felt empty. Realizing how much fun they had was basically the ignition that set me off on saying yes to almost all the opportunities that have come my way. Some of the ones I took kind of sucked, but I’d rather have a memory of it rather than wondering how it would of went.
Of course we should feel sad if someone passes. The person who passed will never walk the Earth again, never see their family or friends again. Their family and friends will never see them again. It hurts to even think about it. Some believe in life after death, including myself. Some people don’t. Some people get over the fact that they’re gone with the hope of believing that one day, they will see them again in the afterlife.
Let me just start this with saying that Beowulf was [completely awesome]. He was amazing at everything he did. He was an honorable person and many loved him He helped the Danes by defeating the all evil Grendel and Grendma and gained even more honor and fame by doing so. He did not let pride get to his head and he ruled his kingdom for a good fifty years. He killed the treasure hoarder that was threatening his people and sacrificed his life so that the beast wouldn’t harm his people. So yes, we should feel sad when he falls.
I think we should be happy he did die a warrior’s death, because he died doing what he loved, being [awesome] and slaying things. We should not be happy that he died before the Geats crumbled though, why is that even a question? His death is why the Geats crumbled! No other nation dared to attack while he was on the throne and once he fell, the Geats were vulnerable.
P.s - I am going to miss all my classmates and this class and the blogs and the pit of despair and yeah. I love you hufflepuffers. I hope I still see all you guys around school!
Wow that made me tear up a little bit. The same thing happened with my great grandma. When she passed, my family mourned on all the memories we had with her and smiled because we knew she was in a better place. I like to you wanted to mirror his personality and I thought this was an overall great post
OMMMMARRRRRRR I LOVE YOUR FIRST SENTENCE! I WILL MISS YOU!
It's always terrible to lose a loved one. It hurts to know that they will never come back and smile with us again. But we will have something that will stay with us. We will still have the memories of the times together. We will remember all the help they have given us. All the times spent.
“My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." “
I’ve lost many things in my life; money, toys, socks, friends and much more. One thing I haven’t experience losing is someone who is dear to me. I can’t imagine the feelings and trauma I’ll face when that time comes. “Those who knows you best, knows what hurts you the most” Who doesn’t know you best than yourself, so if I lose someone, I love ill grieve over him/her for days. Showing grief for someone is not a sign of weakness but strength. It exemplifies the bond and memories you have with that person. Not only that, it also shows he/she is worth showing so much emotion for. Then again, what happens if we miss those “unforgettable” opportunities with those we love? We have to spend as much time with everyone you’re close to. Time is precious and often taking for granted; it should be cherished and spent wisely.
I wish you had written more! Your post was on a roll... and BAM! It just stopped. Anyways, I liked your quote you used. It was fitting for your topic. I couldn't agree more with your ending sentences. I do believe that we have to spend as much time as the ones we are close to. Things don't last forever and people take that for granted.
Hey! But when you do lose someone... remember to cherish the time you spent with them and don't take it for granted. (Tehe. Only time will tell if you take your own advise)
I enjoyed reading this... just wish it was longer, but good job!
Kevin I honestly really like your blog but wish you had written more. So right now, yours is good but if you wrote more, it would probably be great. And I hope you never lose your loved ones but if it does happen and it will happen, they will rest in peace and see you again in heaven so don't worry.
I agree lightly, it was a smooth running post until it sort of hit a brick wall. But for what it's worth, the ideas you have count for double what you actually put down so nice entry.
There are probably only a handful of people that have seen a good majority of my different sides. And no, not all of them pretty. Some of them are downright disgusting, really. It would be lovely to believe I am a wonderful person, but in reality, there are parts of me that say otherwise.
I am a kind, hateful person all at once, but so is everyone else. Everyone is a living contradiction, but because we can choose which side to expose to people, many will never see us as beyond one-dimensional people. Think about it.
Your friend has probably asked you before, “What do you think about so-and-so?”
And you probably replied, “Oh, she’s pretty nice,” because that is the only side you have ever seen of that person.
If you truly think about it though, no person is completely good. We are all composed of so many parts, traits that we love about ourselves as well as traits we would rather not have.
I remember back to sophomore year in Spanish class, when I had a partner that would constantly ditch the class and rarely helped me on partner assignments. I came to dislike her fairly quickly. Yet, when we talked, I never showed any of the resentment I held against her; I only showed her a smiling face. I built the person she wanted to see: a partner that didn't really care if she was there or not.
I’ll admit it. I’m a fake.
To strangers, I act courteous and friendly to give them the best impression. To those I would rather not have around me, I act distant, but not too much so. To my parents, I act like the child that can do no wrong. To my friends, I act supportive, kind, and weird.
Yet, in many ways, I am none of these traits. I am not always as friendly as I make people think, and I am not perfection in any way. Sometimes I am courteous, kind, and encouraging, but I can also be just the opposite. Most likely, if you named any trait you believe I have, I could point out an example backing you up as well as an example defeating you.
I am, after all, a living, breathing contradiction.
I like that you are so honest and I completely agree with you. Your post was real and I enjoyed it.
Jessica, what you said is so true. We are all technically a fake because always giving people only the good side. No one is completely good inside, they all have their badness, we all do.
Hm, as I was reading this post I thought of how we think alike when dealing with how we act around others. I like how we think so much alike and we are a breathing contradiction. Great job!
If there is anything that I undoubtedly cannot stand, it’s inconsistent people. I very strongly dislike it when people are always changing who they are and how they act in front of different groups of people. It’s like, what’s the point of even interacting with people then? If you aren’t comfortable enough with who you really are to consistently be yourself in front of people, then either you need new friends or you need to step back and do some reevaluating. It really is exhausting to balance the act after a while. Trust me, I know this.
A year or so ago I had this whole epiphany. It finally occurred to me that I was being one of those inconsistent people that I can’t stand. The person I was at school differed greatly from the person I was at church which was also different than the person I was at home. Even in my own family my personality and actions varied depending on who I was with. From brother to brother and cousin to cousin and parent to parent I was just a big inconsistent mess. You can imagine how upset I was to realize this. So, I made the decision to cut the bologna and be myself everywhere . My true self. The Lauren Nicole Kime that I wanted to be. If that meant losing some friends along the way then so be it. I believe that if someone can’t accept me for me then they aren’t a friend and certainly are not worth my time.
Keep that all in mind.
Unfortunately, funerals are a great way to force you to think about how precious life is. They make you think about what you’re doing and where you’re going and what you want and need to do.
Just this past week I attended my Great Uncle Tom’s funeral. I only met him maybe a little over a dozen times but of course, didn’t realize how much I appreciated him until he was gone. Some of his closer relatives and friends made their way up to the pulpit to share their memories about him.
These were very frequently used words that each person used to describe Uncle Tom. Every single person that spoke mentioned that they never heard him speak poorly of anyone or anything.
I found myself sitting in that church sanctuary just nodding and smiling thinking, “what a way to make 84 years of life really mean something. I want to do that…” And it’s true. I really want to be remembered in the same way. But not just because people feel obligated to say the nice things about me. I want my best self and my true self to be the same. I hope to live such a great, long, fulfilled life that it inspires the bratty teenager in the second row of pews to not just survive , but to live .
My point? This funeral made me once again reevaluate how I’m living. If I want to be remembered in such a way, then I need to start living that way! It brings back the whole being-consistent-with-who-I-am-everywhere thing. It also reminded me that death does not get the last word . Funerals aren’t supposed to be sad. They’re supposed to be a celebration of a great life of someone that has passed. Of course the crying and feelings of sadness are inevitable, but it really isn’t a sad occasion when the person lived a long, full life (like Uncle Tom).
I won’t lie though. I am terrified of losing my loved ones. It’s easier to let go of the elderly I’ll admit, but my brothers? My parents? My cousins and friends? I can’t even fathom how I’ll handle that. I’m much more afraid of losing them than I am of them losing me. My brother Jensen and I often argue about who has to die first. Even though he’s older, I always insist I must go first because I won’t be able to function without him. He’s been my best friend since day one! Naturally, he insists the opposite. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
But while I wait, I’m going to make my life mean a whole lot more. Starting now .
dude, I really liked what you said, "Death does not get the last word." I like that quote a lot. Also how funerals should be celebrated if the person lived a good life. (still including the crying of course cause they're gone forever.) Good job Lauren
I love your confidence! I think that you will be a great Lauren and no one else! Keep doing what you are doing and make your life worth while because I know that is the best thing to do with your life.
Great post this week! It was super easy to understand and everything was pretty straight forward. It's true, "You never know how much something/ someone means to you until they're gone." I love the attitude of going out there and finding your purpose and reason to be remembered for and I'm sure you can do it! Good job!
I really like the idea about how death shouldn't be sad. It really serve as a motivation for us to continue to live better lives. Really enjoyed reading the post!
Lauren, I can really tell that over the years that you have gotten in touch with your true self and I'm very proud of you but don't be afraid to change if you need to. I can really connect to the section about funerals because funerals are not only a celebration of a life but also a reminder of this beautiful gift that has been given to all of us. I know that in many many many (*many*) years your family members and friends will say the same great things about you, if not more. Great post!
Friends – all the time you’ve spent with them, all the experiences you’ve shared, all the memories you’ve had with them. Friends are great.
Parents – they’ve watched you grow, they’re constantly concerned for you, and you’ll always be in they’re best interest. Parents are great.
Your parents and friends, you’re dear to them both… but you’re not the same person to either of them.
Speaking from personal experience, one must act differently – restrain themselves, if you will – when in the company of their family, as opposed to when they’re amongst friends.
In my experience, I’ve found that when I’m with family, I have to be “formal.” It’s mandatory that I show respect for my parents, aunts, uncles, etc.
There’s are unwritten rules that I have to follow: no obsene conversations (i.e. raunchy jokes), avoid rude behavior, no swearing, and so on and so on. Follow these rules, and you’ll live to see tomorrow.
It’s not hard to to, just have some respect.
Now, when I’m not-with my family, the rules are off.
When I’m amongst friends, I could tell them the vulgarest jokes I know, I could have obscene conversations, and I could swear like a sailor. It doesn’t matter.
I’m two different people, yet, I’m not – I’m just uncensored, depending on whose company im in.
Why is this significant?
It’s important to notice how people act differently depending on who they’re with at the time. We all do it, it’s normal.
Consequently, however, this behavior affects how people remember us.
No two people will have the same memories of you.
While your parents may remember you as an adorable little child who grew into a adorable little teenager, your friends may remember you as “that kid who’s been cussing up a storm since thrid grade.”
Once you’re dead, the way people remember you is only a matter of perspective.
People who disliked you in life wouldn’t mind the fact that you’re dead.
The people who’ve been with you through good times and bad times will remember both. They’ll accurately remember the hardships you’ve faced, as well as how you triumphed through them. Every memory is precious now, even the bad ones.
Someone you were dear to, possibly a friend, would have fond memories of you; they’d remember the good times and they’ll probably block out any bad memories. They’d be mourning your death, but they’d say that they’re celebrating your life.
This seems like the most “optimistic” approach, but there’s definitly a sense of denial.
I’ve never lost a loved one before, I can’t start to imagine how terrible it must feel.
As someone who’s never suffered the loss of a loved one, I’d probably take the “optimistic” approach, and try to remember all the good times, while forgetting all the bad ones.
In foresight, this sounds like a desperate attempt to escape feeling grief, but what can I say?
I haven’t lost anyone yet, but I already know…
I loved your post. Losing dose hurt and I have lost a few people in my life but the worst part is living on without them. It’s the little things that always get me. It’s funny I remember the bad things that they did but I smile at them. Like being dead makes it all understandable and I forgive easyer when they are gone. Maybe it's because I want them back so bad. Anyways sorry for my little rant but your post got me thinking. :)Great job!
Thanks for the input, I'm glad you liked it.
I'm sorry that you've lost people dear to you; it must be terrible.
I really enjoyed your indtroduction because it got straight to the point and I was nodding my head in agreement with everything you said. Teenagers do act very differently when they are with family or when they are with friends and sometimes it's funny to see how your friends act around their parents. I usually just comment in my head 'that's not how you are around me' or when they turn to you when you bring up something that their parents were never supposed to find out about, that's the best. I've always found that aspect as a miscomunication between a child and a parent that's why I hope my future young ones can actually talk to me the same way they talk to their friends, but what do I know, I'll see when I get there!
People prefer to remember the good qualities of a loved one who passed away, because love causes them to value his or her positive characteristics. Even if people do not have loving relationships with a person who died, they would likely still feel mournful. Human compassion can be so influential that people usually frown upon the idea of cheering for someone else’s death. Also, it would feel immoral to remember a person solely by his or her poor qualities.
The thought of dying is haunting. Death is the cause of many other fears. Some people are afraid of going on roller coasters, because they fear that they will fall off the ride and die. Some others are afraid of flying on planes, since they fear that they will die in a plane crash. The thought of death is so appalling that people would not want to remember dead people by their wrongdoings. Remembering dead people by their harmful acts or negative characteristics may imply that they deserved to die. People do not want to seem cruel, so they choose to remember others by their best qualities.
We remember people from the past more favorably than when they were remembered while alive, but I find this acceptable. It is better to lean towards optimism than towards pessimism. Remembering someone unfavorably may foster a sense of negativity that can harm the people alive today. Not only would people develop a habit of being pessimistic, but they may also become obsessed with striving to be perfect in every possible way. They would despise mistakes and avoid them at all costs, since they know that they would be remembered by their wrongdoings. This attitude towards life can be mentally damaging. People need to accept mistakes, which can help them make progress throughout their lives.
Despite the idea that remembering someone for his harmful actions is inconsiderate, there is a time when it may be acceptable to remember a person for his wrongdoings. However, those wrongdoings should be very severe, such as the Starkweather Homicide. The purpose of remembering someone for his or her wrongful behavior is to warn people that cruelty is prevalent in society. This warning may decrease the chances of such behavior occurring in the future, because people can take action to prevent each other from committing harmful acts.
I would want to remember my friends and family by holding pleasant memories of them. I do not want to have negative thoughts when I think about those people. They have supported me and deserve to be remembered by their positive characteristics. While it is true that they are not always angels, they should be remembered for their good deeds rather than for their hurtful actions. To the best of my knowledge, my choice to hold favorable memories of my friends and family does not have negative consequences.
I would like people to remember me at my best, so I continuously try to make good impressions on the people around me. I prefer to be remembered in the manner Beowulf is depicted in the poem. While the director of the Beowulf movie saw the darker side of the hero’s life, the character Beowulf is meant to be honored. His heroic acts have earned him the respect that he deserves. Determined to make a beneficial impact on the world around me, I strive to shape my life into something that will lead people to believe that I should be remembered favorably.
There’s two types of people; 1. Shady, sketchy, and flaky people and 2. a man (or woman) of his/her word. There also seems to be people that fall into both categories. I fall under that category…
My freshman year I was in a relationship with somebody for nearly a year. Ignoring the relevance of the fact, it caused me to miss out on a lot of things my social life. For instance, I’d blow off my friends to be with my girlfriend or I’d make up some [foolish] lie so that I wouldn’t be able to hang out with them and therefore be with girlfriend. Eventually my blowing off lead to some bad karma. My friends would catch on and know that I was [lying to] them to hang out with my girlfriend. Instead of simply telling them that I was going to hang out with my girlfriend, I had to go through the trouble of creating some masterminded excuse to tell my friends on why I couldn’t hang with them. I guess I can say I was embarrassed to say I was going to be with my girlfriend rather than being a man about it and telling them the truth.
Fortunately, I have taught myself to be a better a more honest and mature person about my plans with people. Admittedly, I can be sketchy at times, but even my friends say I have gotten better so that is a good sign. I think it has to do with the part of me of how I am able to make it up to people. I don’t how or why, but whenever I sketch out on someone, I find some brilliant way to make it up (i.e. taking my friend Kevin out to lunch or to get ice cream), or simply hanging out with that person on a more consistent basis.
Now preferably, I’d rather be more of man of his word…. Someone that is straightforward with another, therefore there doesn’t have to be any complications. The point I am trying to draw across to everyone, is that it’s better to keep up than catch up. I will tell you that blowing people off, lying, and making up excuses in the long run is not worth it. Believe me, because I created a unstable foundation of being sketch and always lying as a freshman and here I am today, a senior, still feeling awkward around my friends. So why spend the rest of your life trying to make up something for what you did than rather be true to yourself while simultaneously being true to others? It can work, because I know people who are like this… It just depends on you, or in this case, me…
Cam I loved this! You spoke the truth my friend, you did flake a whole bunch but you stopped doing it haha. Which is awesome of course, good blog guy.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Han. How are you?”
“Aww yeuh, man! Wassup?!”
Personally, I find myself torn in two, four, maybe twenty different parts. The aunts and uncles, relatives, older figures, best friends, even brother all see different sides of who I really am. When Mr. Feraco asked us “To whom must we be true” I found myself speechless. I didn’t know. I was split so many ways on who I am, and who I was supposed to be.
But then it hit me.
I am who I am, crafted by those around me. I found myself torn into so many different pieces because they all contributed attributes which I valued, and built up who I was. I take traits that I found pleasant, and from there constructed who I really am. I created who I am, my traits, my attitudes, my face. I am who I was supposed to be.
My great-grandfather died when I was 7. I was too young to realize what happened. Every time I would visit my grandparents after that, the room would be empty. I didn’t know he was gone. All of those memories he could never tell me, adventures he experienced, nothing. I didn’t feel sad at that time, but I don’t feel any sadness now. I know he left us peacefully, and I am glad he is in a better place.
There is a time for grieving, but it doesn’t last. Focusing on the past and “what could have been” is pointless at this stage.
“It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them…the activity of worrying keeps you immobilized”
My friends and family have shaped who I am, I would remember them for who they were, for those were the actions demonstrated by them, the bruises and scars I have, the euphoric and joyous moments. All of them have contributed in some way to my human existence, and how I behave, my different facades, me.
I think you're right in that sometimes, we can't hang on to people who have passed. While they may be important to us, or maybe not, we have to realize ourselves that it happens. It's something we can't control and you're right about that. I think it's important to just move on.
hi, i totally agree with what u said about grieving. i too can relate with losing a grandparent at a young age and not knowing what really happened. Your post was really relatable for me and i loved how u ended it. good job
Nice post Chris. I really liked how you mentioned that it's not worth worrying about what could have been.
-Though I understand that fussing over the past isn't productive, it's hard not to think about it.
I don't think anything could be more regrettable than missed opportunities.
I really like the quote you used as well as the bit about worrying about the past being pointless. I totally agree. Nice job! I enjoy reading your writing.
We try to live in the past, but we can never replicate those moments. I understand what you mean. It's hard to let go, but it's better to move on. Appreciate the read.
I completely agree when you say that focusing on what could have been is pointless, the past is the past and is unchangeable. Good read.
With every person that I let in I take my favorite part of them and make it a part of myself. I take my best friends Craig’s compassion, Kelcy’s strength and Morgan’s spunk into my own personality traits. I take their catch phrases and funny sayings and put them in my everyday vocabulary. For good reason I have always been a shy person, I’ve been hurt in my life and abandoned by people that I loved. I was betrayed by family.
I am not the person that he once loved.
I remember my father as a man who always made me laugh. I don’t really remember him as my father though. He was a cool dude to hang out with but never someone that I took as a father figure. I would be so happy when I spent time with him because I could be silly and he would love me more. I would never act like that in my home but with him I would. I needed him and the only way I thought I could have him was to act like him.
I was wrong.
And so he left me behind and took the position of father for kids that were nothing close to me and my sister. It hurt and still does to this day. I still go visit him in his miserable karma stricken state. He would never admit it but he is miserable. I think my presence brings him back to happiness if only for a hour or two but makes the return to his reality that more bitter. I joke like old times with him to cover up the unhappiness with the person that gave me life but all I feel is pity.
I am not longer the person that he loved once, and I do believe he has love. I’m still silly yes, but there is not good part of him left in me. He has lost me. It wasn’t my fault that without a father I had to find attention in other people, to learn from others what makes me happy, and had to experience life on my own.
When I see him now it’s like visiting an old elementary school friend. The only thing I have is acting funny and smiling at what once was. We talk about what’s happening at the moment and over generalized terms of the condition of life that we are living. When I leave my mind is filled with a life that could have been. All that’s left are scars but my love will always be there for anyone who I chose to gift it to but my father planted a seed of fear into something so beautiful. I fear love because it can be broken. Fear is the root of my love for him. The fear of losing the father that I never had. When the day comes when I have to put him in the ground, I will remember him the way that I want to .As the father that I rarely had, as the dad who laughed with me until my stomach hurt, the one who I drank slurpees with when he picked me up from preschool. Even though he only gave me a couple of years, I treasure them and their memories. My heart has no more room for hate or else I will turn out just like him. Loathing his dad for the rest of his life and the injustice placed upon him. I will remember the bad if only as a reminder for myself that this is who I will never become. Here lies a man who hurt me and I will not allow it ever again. This is a man left with no children and pity from the biological seeds he planted.
He taught me more than he ever hoped to have and gave me more than a child support check once a month. He gave reason to be good person. To give love free to those who really deserve it. To let people change me for the better instead of their negative actions putting walls up so there is no pity felt when I am place six feet under but the things that I took from knowing them, the pieces of them that I carried in my life.
I want them to remember me the person they helped me to become.
I really sympathize with your post this week. My father also left my family and soon he just became like a friend instead of a father.
It seems like he really shaped you and that he really does love you even if he left, because he seemed happier when you were there with him!
Mickaela this brought tears to my eyes. Keep flying girl, I'm so happy to hear I and our fellow other friends left this impact on you and I have no doubt our friendships will last forever. This was beautiful and by far the best blog you've written.
To this day, I will never fail someone. That is just how I am; it is my moral feeling to never fail someone. However, I was not always like this. I’m really not sure how I was years ago, but I know events change you.
I know experience changes you.
I grew up in a little town right between San Francisco and Oakland. It was a nice, quiet city that contained about 30,000 people. It was a great neighborhood; well compared to where I lived before this. I don’t like going into it, but lets just say that I lived with a divorced mother and two sisters in a rundown area. It wasn’t the best place to grow up, especially when my mother was at work for most of the time.
However, let us go back to the story. I lived here from 3rd grade to 7th grade and it was probably when I changed the most. I don’t mean physically (even though, all of a sudden, instead of being 4 feet tall, I was 5 feet tall); I mean I changed from being none talkative to being quiet. “Quiet” is really bad, but for me it was a huge step. I was actually settling into this peaceful city, I began to call it “home.” Maybe that is why it was so hard to move to Arcadia from there.
I remember this one girl who I became very close with during the end of 6th grade. She wasn’t like me; actually she was probably the complete opposite. She could talk for days and I could listen for days. Most people who meet quiet people usually don’t become friends because… well it’s boring. Right? That is what I thought she was thinking.
But I was wrong.
Now you are probably thinking that this is like the perfect love story. And well, I’m going to be honest, it isn’t and it wasn’t. Unfortunately, I didn’t know I was moving, but I was about to find out that I was moving to Arcadia during the last couple weeks of summer.
As I look back at it now, there were many options I could have taken, but at the time, I only thought of one. I was scared of losing someone so important in my life. This might be another reason why it was so hard for me to make the change. But instead of spending as much time with her as I could, I kind of avoided the problem. I tried to pull away because I thought; it is probably for the best. Right?
Well I was wrong.
She knew me so well and it is very hard to get to know me, because I will be honest, I am a closed off person and it is very hard to get inside of me. But for the short time we knew each other, she was able to understand me better than anyone else. And for the little I talked, she was the only person I could talk to. And what did I do? I threw it all away.
When I moved during the summer of 7th grade, she kept talking to me, but I talked to her different, and I approached her like a stranger. It was a weird shift for me. I was never like that but I changed. I changed into a human being no one wants to be. The worst part of it was that I accepted myself. I changed and I thought I was right.
Well I was wrong.
She began to realize it and she hated whom I was changing into and I don’t know what happened after that. She forced herself to move on because she thought I did. It took her a while, but she finally did. I really wasn’t, I was just avoiding it, telling myself that I had. And I finally did. Unfortunately, I finally did. That was the end.
I was going into 8th grade as a stranger, knowing no one. But I felt I should have started new beginning. So I did. I went through a year, forgetting about my life back in Northern California. Then I started High School and I continued to live my life in Arcadia. And then I went through another boring sophomore year, not looking back. I was developing more and more an urge to talk and I finally got out of the comfort zone of “quiet” and lived life. As I continued to change and mature, my past was still nudged in the back of my brain yet to haunt me later.
It finally hit me after those few years.
I finally realized; I was wrong.
I had someone in my life that cared for me and would continue to care for me, even if we were 400 miles away. I didn’t know what I had, not until it was finally lost.
I regretted and I regret each day, to this day. I would always ask myself “what if I kept her still close with me?”
Would my life better? Or worst? I try to convince myself that my life would have been worst if I kept her close to me so I wouldn’t feel so guilty. But there is always a voice in the back of your head saying, “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! You screwed up!”
And I did screw up. I finally accepted it. I was tired of weeping over my regrets. Instead, I changed. It was time for me to change once again, and into someone better than I was when I was younger. When I was younger, I was stupid and arrogant. I wish I could go back in time and tell my 12-year-old self to “not make that mistake.”
I would go back because I was sorry and I am still sorry.
This experience changed me. That was my first and my last time I let someone down.
My relationship with my mother is stronger than ever.
My relationship with my sisters is stronger than ever.
My relationship with my past girlfriends was stronger than ever.
My relationship with my future will be stronger than ever.
I have become someone better than I would be if I approached the problem differently. I am everything I want to be to everyone I want. I treat others how I would like to be treated. I even look even further and hope if I treat others the best I can treat them, it will free my guilt from my conscious.
Each day, I still wish I approached the problem. If I was able to go back in time and make things better, I think I wouldn’t. There is a fight between guilt and what is best in my mind and the best thing to do is live the life I have right now because it has done so much good for me. One sacrifice has done millions of good deeds for me. However, it still haunts me. I am still not sure about my decisions. I am just trying to satisfy the people around me, and for some reason, it seems like no one is satisfied, no matter how much I try.
I think the guilt is winning.
This was suppose to be my ending “…guilt is winning.” I showed Omar Shalabi (aka Beowulf) and he said “be happy don’t let dumb guilt win.” He is right. Even though guilt is towering over me as we speak, I should be strong. Actually, I have to be strong and let the past go because if I don’t, the past will continue to drag me down and slow my arrow down from hitting the target. If my past slows down my arrow, it might miss my target. I know it will be hard, but I don’t want to miss.
I should learn to let go.
You're right. Experiences can change you. Sometimes, you don't want to change those experiences. There's really no need to. I think sometimes you can just get more out of it if you didn't change anything and left it be. Don't let failure slow your arrow. I think if you did, who knows, it might not even make it.
It's good to learn from past experiences and take a better approach the next time it comes around but I just thought that you should know, you can never change who you really are. People don't change. That is what I believe at least. Why though? Because your past experience has shaped you into the person you are today so you can never change that but you cn change who you turn into in the future but even if you do, you really are never a changed man.
So much to say.
So much to do.
So much to see.
So much to learn.
So little time.
Or is there?
Often times in life we tend to take things for granted whether we are aware of it or not. Unfortunately one thing I have noticed that people take the most for granted though, is time. Not very often do people actually stop for a second to think about how grateful they should be to even be given time. I, for one, believe that procrastination is one of the simplest reasons for that matter. People waste their time being “couch potatoes” almost everyday instead of getting out there to explore new things and making memories, or more importantly, making memories for others to remember you by. What if in the next second your life was taken away from you? Do you want to only be remembered for your laziness? I sure hope not. I’m not going to say I’ve never procrastinated or been lazy once in a while, but I am fully aware of what short time I have (because you don‘t know when your expiration date will suddenly come). That’s why I feel that everyone should try to treat everyday like it’s their last; I mean, shouldn’t we all? I feel if that were the case, each and every moment of everyday would be ten times more progressive than those of now; correct me if I’m wrong. If there’s so much to achieve and conquer out there, then go on out and dominate them, create the memories, and create history.
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – Gilbert Keith Chesterton
I must say that I am one of the few people who believe you were chosen to be alive for a reason, that you were made to create a difference. If my life were to be taken away from me, I want to be remembered as one who was tough enough to stand back up right after each fall. I don’t intend on being perfect nor do I hope that I am remembered that way because that stopped the second I was born (I am only human). Although I do hold high expectations for myself for the future, I still expect to fall here and there, but definitely not everywhere. I want to be remembered for all the help and assistance for my friends, community, children, and the elders that I have contributed throughout my entire life (however short or long that may be). I want to be remembered as the daughter who seized in every opportunity to achieve her goal, and followed her heart through all the troubles and doubts. I want to be remembered as the elementary teacher who my students will look up to and call, “Mrs. Tsou.” I want to be remembered as the best leader my fellow volunteers have ever had from my clubs and services. More specifically, I just want to be remembered as me.
“As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do.”
- Zachary Scott
Since the day I was born, I hopped onto life’s rollercoaster. The rollercoaster with bumpy railroads and steep falls that travel from one location (Point A) to the other (Point B), just like a journey. Although there’s never a time I can remember hearing anyone say that even after they have reached their destination (goal), they regretted the journey that took place before it. I mean, after all the struggles, the bruises, the scars, and all the tears, you don’t feel that it was all worth it? That after everything, you were able to became stronger, more determined, and proud, and you still don’t think it’s worth it? I was always taught that you should never regret something you put all the effort into, but rather, be proud and grateful of it until the end for it taught you something; it made you stronger. Take a break up for example, or a loss. You feel weak, pain, stabbed, and every negative element in life combined together. This is the period of time where you discover all sorts of uncontrolled emotions that are difficult to analyze. I personally think that realistically, those feelings are bound to build up and released sooner or later, but the sooner it is, the better you can toughen up and be prepared for the next time around. Afterwards, you know nothing but precious little time can mend that broken heart. But at the end of the day, you become stronger no matter what the outcome is and you should never feel guilt or regret.
“Pain makes you stronger, tears make you braver, heartbreaks make you wiser. So thank the past for a better future” -Unknown
I remember answering a baseline question for our novel, Siddhartha. The question asked if I would still be okay if I lose a love one. My answer up until this very moment is still the same, and I’m more than sure that it will not change. I don’t believe that I will still be “okay” after losing my dear love one, *but I will survive*. Of course like anyone, I am more than afraid to lose the ones that I love, even more than they would feel about losing me. I guess it’s a pretty selfish way to think and feel but this feeling is natural, I suppose.
If we are speaking of loss in a way where you both gradually drift apart, then everything that is being stated here holds true. We often times decide to do what we want when we want (even if it would risk losing them) and as long as we feel that what we want to do is more beneficial for ourselves, (regardless if they’re afraid to lose you) we do it. But if it were the other way around and you’re put on the receiving end, you might be hurt or feel bad even though you know that what they want to do is best for them (because now you lose them without choice). I must agree that the nun from another Death Cab for the Cutie song is right. Fear is definitely the heart of love because you’re afraid to lose the ones you love (why wouldn‘t you?) but also, love is at the heart of our fears. At times, love gives you the strength to overcome fears when you feel that what you’re overcoming is worth it for the person you love.
"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." -Bill Cosby
Now if we are speaking of loss in a way where we’re suddenly drifted apart due to death, then I am more than one hundred percent sure that I am still the one to feel more afraid of losing the ones I love. This is not to say that my love ones aren’t afraid of losing me, but speaking for myself, I believe I would. I’ve never dealt well with loss from my friends moving away and what not, let alone death. I still remember my grandma’s passing like it was yesterday. As a five year old, I was not too effected by her passing away; I was still too young to understand. I do remember though, all the countless puzzles that we both completely together. I remember offering her my baseball bat as a cane to her when she started to need one. I remember her bedtime stories that she would tell me when I slept in her room. Of course now that I’m older, I feel more than guilty that I never appreciated the times when she was actually here because again, I was only five. I hate myself now that I didn’t help her up when she fell to the ground one day as she tripped. I hate myself now for not throwing away all her packs of cigarettes that she would smoke everyday. I don’t feel that saying these things are killing her all over again though; she didn’t mind people knowing, she was being herself. Even with all that regret due to my young age though, I don’t regret everything. I was able to take my mistakes and guilt and convert myself into a person who learned to be more appreciative, caring, helpful, and careful. If it weren’t for her, I might have not been so motivated to interview and become the leader that I am at California Philharmonic, assisting the elders. Without her I would never have become the character I am today, even if I had to learn the hard way. For my mistakes and falls and contributions, I want to be remembered for it all.
“If youth knew, if age could”-Henri Etienne
Great Job! Lot of connections, quotes, and deep analysis. It is amazingly written.
I am glad that you finished it strong! Bravo!
Its a shame that most, if not all, of us will lack the power to control people's thoughts after we pass. All we can control at this point is how we live, and live we will. Great last post, Sandy.
I also feel like I've hopped onto a roller coaster. Haha. I like how you tied the quotes and your ending was strong, just like what Katie said. Well done!
Wow! Your post was awesome! Full of great connections and great quotes; it's obvious you did tons of research and really understand what's going on! Not only did you make great connections with what we've learned, but also with your words and the audience. The post feels so easy to relate to and understandable. Everyone should be living their days like it's their last. Connections are great like that; connect to literaingture and quotes from people we don't know yet know us very well, and connecting to your audience/peers. Great post!
“The only things certain in life are death and taxes”
- Benjamin Franklin
Death is a part of life. Everyone is going to die; we don’t know what kind of life they will live nor do we know how they will die. We just know that they will die. Death is something that shouldn’t be mourned over, but it is. The idea of losing someone forever does hurt; the fact that they will never come back does hurt. The lone comfort for the loss of a person is how we remember them. However, our memories of them are always made in the heat of the moment. Our memories of the deceased are not always accurate. Only to those who are dear to our hearts, do we have nice memories for them.
About 8 years ago, I had an uncle die. He wasn’t really my uncle, we just called him that. He was somewhere deep in the family tree, so he was like distant, distant family. I hardly ever saw him. I didn’t know his name until he died. I don’t think he knew my name. I mean, we literally never visited him and he never saw us. We had never spoken a word to each other.
When he died, I felt sad and thought that he was a great guy. From reading the stuff about him in the pamphlets, I read that he was a doctor and had died of cancer before he had turned 40. I thought of him as this hero and admirable person. As the years passed, I thought to myself, “why did I think so highly of this man?” I never met the man, really. I was just making memories up to build the image of my dead “uncle”. It didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel right believing that this man’s death was a part of me, when really, it did not impact me in any way. Sure it was sad, but I didn’t even know the man. I didn’t love the man, because he was barely family.
I hate people that are fake. I hate those who change their character into someone fake when the time is right. I was being that person. I am a realist and see things realistically. Sometimes that is seen as negative, but I don’t seem to think so. One thing that bothers me is when someone dies, there are people who come out and pretend to have sympathy for the deceased. Usually, these are the people who didn’t really like the dead guy when he was alive. That sort of behavior upsets me.
When I die, I don’t want to be built up as a hero. Only if I warrant the legendary status, will I accept it. I want to be remembered as I truly was. I don’t want people who never knew me to feel sad about my death. I don’t want people who disliked me to pretend that we were the best of friends and my death has hurt them deeply. I don’t want to be the subject of someone trying to get sympathy. I want to missed by those who truly loved me; appreciated by those who cared when I was living; and left peacefully by those who didn’t know or like me.
I could not agree more with you about the dislike of sympathy. For some reason I've never been fond of it, it bothers me almost. I do agree that I wouldn't want someone who I didn't even know to feel bad for me for whatever reason they feel like they should be. Your post was easy to read and to understand. Good job!
It’s not really a question of who I’ve failed rather; it’s a question about how many I’ve failed. It’s not a high number, I can tell you that much. However, it’s higher than zero, which is more than I ever wished for. It’s sad really, when you give everything and you realize it just wasn’t enough. You start questioning your own abilities, you’re limits. You realize that you’re either not as strong as you were, or you deeply underestimated the situation. Either way, it’s your fault.
It’s funny; I’ve talked about pretty much the same two people in my blogs
But they're everything to me. I wouldn't be writing this blog if it wasn't for them They've taught me so much that there’s no one else I need to talk about. They’re important to me, and without them, I couldn't be me, or at least not yet, not now. The ironic thing is, while they’ve done so much for me, I’ve failed them both at least once, and these are the people who I want to be everything to, at the very least these two.
The irony in that is ridiculous.
With one person I picked the solution that would hurt less in the long run (breaking up with her then rather than in the future), and with the other person I overestimated my own abilities, and she paid for it. Yeah, I messed up pretty badly with that one. I still look back on these things, the fact that I truly did fail not just one person, but two. You start to think though, what would’ve happened if you didn’t? Maybe I’d be with one of them. It’s viable after all. However, when you think of what could’ve happened, you start to realize you’d change, you wouldn’t be the same person anymore. Or maybe you just wouldn’t be that person yet.
But it’s only a “what if” question. Failure is ultimately inevitable, and I’m kind of glad it is. I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it wasn't inevitable.
Failure is a weird concept to understand, even failing twice I'm still learning about it. But it does have its rewards. Lucky for me, every failure has had some kind of reward.
Funny, you’re rewarded for failure. Weird, isn’t it?
But for some reason, it makes sense.
You've pretty much captured how I feel about failure too. I hate failing, because really, it's no one else's fault but my own. At least with every failure, I can learn from the mistake! Nice work, Randy.
This post... got me thinking. It's funny how life is just so full of irony. Everything is just one big cycle. Somehow everything is all connected. And, amazingly enough, it all works out one way or another. Nice job! It was a nice read.
Everyone can tell lies, either good or bad, and through the course of our lives, we learn to deceive others by not showing the most truthful part of us.
Home, the place I can really be myself. I believe this is also true to most people. But why? Why do we tend to build different identities at different places? From my perspective, the reason why we have so many different faces is because we want to act “normal” to the people that we are not so familiar yet with and stay cool to the person you want to attract, if you know what I’m talking about. Once we cross the threshold or remove the veil, the more truthful we will act, at least from my experiences. At school I usually don’t show the “inside” of me, only friends that are close to me would see the real me. I guess this is because I don’t want to be called weird by other people, and over time, this kind of protecting my inner self action becomes a routine. Every time I’m new to someone, I put on the invisible mask and act differently than I normally would to my friends. Everyone lies at some point, at somewhere, to someone. It’s weird but it’s just how this works.
To deal with death is a lesson that I have not yet learned, since I only experience once in my lifetime when I was little. However, I still try to put myself into other people’s shoes and prepare myself for those future days that I know are going to be tough. I think to grieve for a loss is based on our relationship with that person. I mean, if you’ve never talk to that person and have never met that person before, what could possibly make you feel sad? When the news that great storm Sandy has caused a huge tragedy at east coast broke out, people at my community seem untouched. Not saying this is inhumane, I see this as a normal reaction. People are dying all over the world every minute, every second, I don’t really think that anyone has the kind of generosity to grieve for everyone of them.
Death is a thing that we all have to face in the future. When it comes, acceptance is the only way to resolve it. If I only get to choose one way to remember my loved ones, of course I would choose the idyllic moments. Some people prefer the real memories or accurate ones, but in my opinion, why would they want to choose moments that might remind of bad experiences. Don’t let the dead people become burden; let them rest in our best part of the memories. Isn’t it lying to ourselves then you ask? Well, I’d rather choose to dwell in the happiness than remembering the moments that will cause me pain.
Lifespan does not last forever, you only live once.
I do the same thing as you when I meet new people. Eventually, the mask does come off though. And you're absolutely right about acceptance being the only way to deal with death. Really nice work on your post this week!
"Hi. What's your name?"
"My name is..."
Who am I?
I'm a person. A person no better than any other. But what makes me different? What makes me...me?
I don't know who I am. All I know are the people around me, and even they don't know the full answer. They are just different pieces that make up a group of people that surround my everyday lives. My friends...my family...my relatives...and more to come.
Every person I know has seen a side of me. Some see me at my best, and some see me at my worst. Whatever it may be, they have seen me, and already judge me. When I first entered Search of Human Potential, I didn't know what I was seeking, until I heard Feraco's first question about how we judged him, and how he judged us...judged me. I wondered how he sees me? I wondered how others see me.
I didn't want to be looked down upon, so I did what any other person would do. I put on a face, and acted the way others would be delighted to have seen. I am a fraud. I continue to be a fraud.
Is this how I want others to remember me? Being a person that I wasn't, leaving a fake lie behind, without having anyone know the real me?
I thought this way for a while, until something hit me.
What was I before I built this face? What person was I before I became the person I am today?
Did I even have a face?
It's true that I am a fraud. At the same time, I don't know who I am, nor who I was. I just keep on continuing life while building on the person I am. So how do I know who I am?
My friends...my family...my relatives...and more to come. They have seen me. They have seen the different sides of me. I'm shaped by the people I have come in contact with, and they shape the person I am today. I don't who I truly was before, but these people have helped me realize the person I am today. Every mask I've put on has helped me build my traits, flaws, ideals, and more. It has built to become my face.
When I'm gone, I don't want to be remembered in any one way. I want to be remembered as a person who has continued to grow, and continued to change. I want to be remembered as a person who everyone has their own opinion on, whether it's good or bad.
So who am I?
"My name is Joseph Chong."
Search for Human Potential has taught me a lot. We will all soon be a memory of a class that once was. This isn't the end rather that this is the beginning. Keep on searching, and become that person you know you are. Good bye.
Holy moley!!!! That was fantastic! I wish I could write as beautifully and concise as you can. I hold the same ideas as you on basically everything that is in this post. I am so glad that I read yours. It says everything that I wanted to say so beautifully about that subject! Great job and keep searching
I liked your post this week; it was very straight forward. The ending kind of made me sad but aside from that it IS a new beginning and not the end. Keep searching and doing what you do best!
Your writing sounds so poetic. I read it in my mind as if I were reading the lyrics to a song or something. Your essay is structured so powerfully and it's so fluid. Your idea is quite similar to mine. The way we view ourselves and the way we want to be remembered are pretty close.
I liked this post a lot. The idea of each face you wear influencing and building at the core of who you are was really an interesting concept, and you presented the whole idea really well. The writing was clean, clear, and concise, and ultimately the piece was enjoyable.
Hi Joseph! I really liked the honesty in your post. It seems like you said all the things that I was afraid to admit. And the way you continued your post by questioning yourself was great... Very relatable!
Memories gradually fade in time and don’t always hold true to the people they follow.
We die, we leave memories, we are remembered, but the people who love us want to remember us only at our best and forget the other parts of who we were. Is that what we really want? Don’t we want to be remembered as the whole person we were?
Most would want to be remembered only by the good, but I don’t. We should be remembered as who we were, even if that means being remembered by our greatest flaws. Our flaws make us who we are and who we were meant to be. They define us.
Sure, a flaw isn’t the greatest thing for people to remember, but we need to accept them because they are a huge part of us. For example, I’m shy and hate talking to people I don’t know. I dread ordering food or bringing up something to buy at a store. I just hate it. All of my friends know this about me, its one of my flaws, its part of who I am. Little things like that don’t seem to be that big, but to me they are. Sadly, those are the parts that are forgotten the fastest.
Friends and family will remember me the way they want to, either out of grief itself or are just plain scared. No one will stand up at my funeral ready to say all the bad things about me, but I wish someone would have the courage to do it. I want to be remembered for my good, as well as my bad. I want all of me to be remembered. If I were to die today history would remember me in a favorable way, but there is still a lot of life yet to live. Bumps in the road will appear, flaws will emerge, and I will become the person I was meant to be. I hope that when my time comes, I will be remembered for whom I really was, all of me.
I totally agree with everything you said about flaws and how we should accept them because they make us who we are.
Also, I have the same shyness problem! I really hate ordering food and talking to people I don't really know! Glad to know I'm not the only one!
Hi. I can really relate to your post.. especially about the ordering food part. Good job on your post!
I think you're right about how flaws are part of who we are. And even if we are always changing, those flaws are what made us better, stronger -- who we are in the end.
As human beings, we have the power to choose how we are remembered, whether it is through our actions or words. My belief stays true that the power of our actions have a greater meaning than our words. When we depart from this vast world, we will be remembered for the things we have done and the people we have touched.
When I cease to exist, I hope people choose to recollect me not idyllically, but for whom I truly was. Specifically, I hope to be commemorated by my friends as the type of individual who would set aside his own happiness for the well being of those he cared about. I hope they understand that I was a man who cared for his friends and wanted to help others realize their own worth.
Despite the countless arguments, I hope my parents remember me as a hard working individual who followed his passion. I also desire that my parents remember me as a helpful and caring son who tried his best to make them proud. As for my sister, I hope she remembers me as her motivated and loving brother. Although I do not say it often to my family, I truly do love them and I hope to leave a lasting impact in their lives as they have done in mine.
Although I believe that my friends and family would respect my wishes and choose to remember me the way I hoped for, I do not want them to forget that I had flaws. Just like them, I am mortal and vulnerable to pain, failure, and sadness. I just hope that I have earned their respect by having the resilience and courage to fight through the obstacles that have impeded my path. I chose to define moments rather than letting the moments define me. I hope that those who knew me well enough find through the crevices of their mind, the good that I have done with my life.
To this day, I continue to live my life to the fullest and work towards finding the true meaning of it. With every action includes a purpose and I hope to positively change the lives around me. I will continue to spend my life with the people who make me happy, not with those I have to impress. I will live my life for others and give the most I can to those I cherish because we are ultimately defined by our actions.
hi, i really liked your writing. It was relatable, easy to read, and got your points out easily and with strength. You had some really great points and your ending was very strong. i really enjoyed reading it. good job!
Austen, I think I love you blog the most. It was easy to read, straight to the point not going anywhere else and meaningful. I believe you will be remembered as you are hoping for and I wish you the best at everything. I hope everything goes well for your family and friends. Yes, spend it with the people that loves you not the ones you must impress. I was in that spot where I constantly try to impress my friends in order to hang out with them. Now I can careless about them because they don't matter one bit. Great blog is all I gotta say.
To leave memories behind is all that we can do. Every action we take defines those moments, and defines ourselves. The post speaks for both. Great post, really enjoyed it.
Good blog, pretty profound on the last part about living for others
I am different around different people, place, and situations. How I act around different people depends on how comfortable I am. This is why I am “quiet” when I'm around new people or because I fear judgement. This is something that I don't exactly like about myself because I know I care a little bit too much about what others think of me. I also act differently regarding how appropriate the setting or situation is. But even through the midst of all my insecurities shaping my actions, I try my best to stay true to myself.
“The good times and the bad times both will pass. It will pass. It will get easier. But the fact that it will get easier does not mean that it doesn’t hurt now. And when people try to minimize your pain they are doing you a disservice. And when you try to minimize your own pain you’re doing yourself a disservice. Don’t do that. The truth is that it hurts because it’s real. It hurts because it mattered. And that’s an important thing to acknowledge to yourself. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t end, that it won’t get better. Because it will.”
I am thankful to say that I never had anyone close to me pass away. Though, I do know how it feels to have someone suddenly just vanish and disappear from your life. On the surface, I show that I can handle it. I tend to be emotionless and push my feelings away. I fond that it was easier to deal with things that way. But little did I know, my method of dealing with my feelings was heavily flawed. I fond the shortcut rather than actually dealing with my feelings. Then I become only temporarily numb to it. Its still an open wound that's never healed. So when others say that they see strength through my times of grief, I know that it is actually one of my greatest weaknesses.
“Our greatest lessons arise from our darkest experiences. When we open our minds to that truth, we are able to view the experiences from a different place; a place of peace, acceptance, and understanding. At that time, we rise above and see that there truly was no darkness, just a cloud floating in front of the sun, and that the light was always there. Freedom comes in expressing gratitude for the lesson, allowing it to flow through us knowing that it too was necessary for our eternal progression.”
I use to be afraid of examining my own emotions not just only when I'm vulnerable, but just in general as well. I was always scared of getting to know myself. Questions about why I do the things I do slip my mind as I find the easier way out. But I would say that now, I actually enjoy studying these feelings and knowing the way I act. It allows me to learn therefore allowing me to improve myself, allowing for me to be the best possible me that I can be.
Hey Kelly. I enjoyed reading your post and I like your John Green quote. He's by far my favorite author. I agree how we can be totally different people depending on who we surround ourselves with. If we are with people we are comfortable with, we can truly be ourselves, yet when we are surrounded by unknown people, we can be the exact opposite. And as for dealing with emotions, I'm glad you are able to learn more about yourself as an individual. Stay strong despite the obstacles that you may face later in life.
Ah, a John Green quote. I do agree with many things you you said, such as we act so differently according to how comfortable we are to the person. While we may not be saying everything we might have, we're not exactly lying to them right? Nice post!
(Music for todays blog, enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPaGE24vpio )
Oh boy, a blog about death, mortality, and the meaning of life itself. This will be fun.
I believe I briefly covered my views on death on one of the earlier blogs (Blog 3 maybe?) so I’m not going to go there now. Instead, lets just tackle some of the questions that Period 4 could see messing with my head on monday.
So, Should we feel sad when somebody dies?
Well, if we believe the group that doesn’t believe in free will, no. After all, everything we do is just a result of a massive line of funky dominoes. We do what we do because of something that happened already, and we are thus slaves to our post, we have a pre-set “Destiny”, and nothing can change that. Uncle Jamie was going to be hit by that car because his bus was three minutes late, and and the driver wasn't paying attention because... (you see how this goes). So, according to the “everything-you-do-is-meaningless” people, nothing you do is ever really because of your actions. Your entire life, and the lives of everyone around you don’t technically matter, since it was all thought out beforehand. Basically, if you were supposed to die, than that sucks, but that is what was going to happen. So why waste the rest of your time being sad about somebody else? Go and learn how to do something, experience something that you have never done but always wanted to do. (Of course, you really have no say in this, you were always going to do one thing or the other.)
However, what if you did have free will? How does it feel knowing that that basically refutes the central basis of most religions? I mean (direct paraphrasing from a lecture somewhere) The general idea of a God is that of an Omnipotent being, who knows the answer and result of everything. In order for that to be really true, wouldn’t the whole idea of free will break the concept? If your will is truly yours alone, than your life is so unpredictable, leaving this deity unable to know what you do, and make it unable to see what you do. If it does know what you will always do, then what true “freedom” do you have?
Oh, and are you responsible for your “free will”, or is it your “soul” that is?
Speaking of the soul... You got me thinking about this stuff Mr. Feraco (Thinking? In this class? What???)
Well, here is what I think.
Going off of what I know of young(ish) Mr. Feraco, I think you really liked Sci-fi, and still do today. You show us Star Trek in class (twice!), you are reading Cloud Atlas now, and you were/are still reading The Speed of Dark, which while not necessarily science fiction, is close enough for me. So, with this information (I just kinda remember things, don’t ask), I will also assume that you have at least read Ender's Game some time in the last fifteen years. Going along on this long string of assumptions, I will also assume that you thought Orson Scott Card was the best author ever at the time, and proceeded to read everything that he wrote, starting off with finishing the Enders Game series (and if you haven’t, I can’t recommend it higher. The second book is the best I have ever read).
If you don’t remember every detail of Xenocide and Children of the Mind, then I’m sorry, this won’t probably make sense, but I’ll do my best.
So basically, there is our world, with everything you know of in it, and then there is an “Outside”. This “Outside”, which I’ll leave the quotes off for now on (kinda annoying to be honest) has basically nothing in it. You can pop into one part of this Outside and pop out anywhere you want, as long as you can keep a hold on everything that is a part of you in your mind, while you do so. The characters use this as a handy way to bypass the whole speed-of-light-barrier, but it has some unforeseen “side effects”.
You are really unsubstantial in the Outside, and you body is basically run by an aiúa, the Enderverse version of a soul, and it is really important to everything. All living life has an aiúa, the more intelligent getting a larger, more sophisticated one (think most human life, Mothertrees, and the Queens), while the smaller aiúas go to more basic life (bugs, plants). This Outside is full of aiúas, which is funny since there is no 3D space in the Outside, so it can’t really be full of anything, right?
Anyways. You do have a soul, and although it isn’t attached to you like some freaky attached third arm. It is still always there, following you around, making up who you are, but it is in a world that isn't made up of anything itself .
Still don’t understand? Too bad, read the book.
I really admire how your post is like a needle in a haystack. I felt you took this blog and truly made your own topic BUT you still stuck with the meaning of the original one! So smart.
Oh! What a change of music type this week! Thanks for the interesting read! Good way to end the last "real" blog.
I sit in front of the computer, reading. That’s all. There’s nothing really special going on, just reading and thinking of what comes next on a blank document on Word. I look at the clock: the colon blips as seconds pass, seconds that are long gone, seconds that pass with each letter I press on my keyboard, never to be recovered again. These letters will be pounded onto the screen over and over and over, yet each stroke will have its own uniqueness, its own style and personality. It is certainly one-of-a-kind, just like you, just like me.
I keep thinking back to this one particular book, The Book Thief. It is a very different book, as it is written in the perspective of Death throughout its entirety. Toward the end of the book, he waded through the little Jewish district he had so watched over with interest, which had just been flattened by a bombing run by the Germans. He described the faces of those who died, putting it in words that expressed their true colors, their true personalities. Some were at peace, sleeping in bed or at the kitchen table. Others who didn’t make it to a bomb shelter scattered with fear written across their face, tears escaping empty eyes. For Death, there were too many faces to remember. They were all temporary and forgotten in time.
It was an inspiration to me in a way that not everyone reveals their true colors at first glance or as a first impression. We all lie – heck, I lie – only to be comfortable and to feel security, creating an identity for ourselves amongst others who seem to show what they choose to show. I spoke early on in a previous blog that I laugh when someone says “nonconformity is the way to go”, and I still do: if nonconformity is the answer, where is it? Everyone conforms in their own right, in their own way and perspective, even if they choose to neglect such a demeaning concept…
… but we are unique. We have our uniqueness, our own style and personality. We are, indeed, one-of-a-kind, you and I.
I don’t think it’s about whether or not I want to be remembered for either who I really am or for how people wish I were. How about action and resolve? I may be having a nice stroll in the park and suddenly see a kitten in a tree (how it got up there I will never know) and help escort it down such heights, only to return it to its senior owner who thanks me for such kindness. I would rather be remembered as the guy who saved that darn kitten that was stuck in a tree than a guy who imagines the world as one big fake game with no reality. I would rather be greeted as “Hey, you’re that guy who saved Mrs. White’s kitten the other day!” than be sent off as “a man who died with a goal to bring peace to the galaxy.” Actions speak louder than words, no matter how small the action or how big the words.
“That’s why we seize the moment, try to freeze it and own it, squeeze it and hold it
‘Cause we consider these moments golden
And maybe they’ll admit it when we’re gone
Just let our spirits live on, through our lyrics that you hear in our songs and we can…”
… “Sing for the Moment” – Eminem
I liked your post, on top of your opinion on each of us alone having unique "uniqueness", I now actually want to read the Book Thief. Plus nice Eminem quote at the end.
Loss can be very difficult for a person to handle. Each person tend to handle loss in a very different way than others would handle it in the same situation. I could handle loss in a very mature way in some situations, and at other times I can burst out into anger or even tears. Loss affects the way I would act towards my peers, my family and even sometimes people I don’t even know. When I was younger whenever I saw a person cry, I would think that would be a sign of weakness especially when men do it. At that time, I thought people that cry must be very vulnerable and weak. I find myself having a certain outlook on how that person acts just by seeing him or her cry. This would make me not want to look up to that person anymore. Now that I am older, I don’t chose to look at tears as a sign of weakness but as a sign of strength. Let’s picture that your relative who is very close to you just died. Bottling up the painful emotions you feel about losing that person is not a good thing for anyone to do. In the long run it could hurt you inside and out. Depression could occur from that and tear you up from the inside out.
Now a question arose that you asked me whether should we feel sad when Beowulf falls. The answer would be yes, if he was someone dear to my heart and someone I knew personally but not as just a fictional character that I just started reading about him no less than a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know him personally. I just have this third person describing to me who he is and what he has done in certain times of his life. Beowulf was described as a hero, and if I knew him personally I would probably be sad that he died. Beowulf was described to be this great leader that everyone looked up to. Furthermore, he was almost known to be an indestructible “god like figure”. He could kill a man with just his bare hands and without any weapons to be held. Beowulf was a fair warrior that really played by the rules or so I have been told. He tried fight his opponents on their own terms so it would be an even match for both sides. However, even though he was known to be “god like,” he still fell in the end.
As you see, my feelings can be different towards different things and people who surround me and how they affect my life. There are really no two things that make me feel the same. I think it is good that I am able to express my emotions, especially about how I feel towards tough situations and experiences in life that could hurt my feelings. As I mentioned before, I do not bottle my emotions inside of me. I have learned to express the way I feel towards others without going overboard, and not engaging in being too dramatic. I say what’s on my mind, and I tell it like it is but I always try not to be mean about or too pushy and annoying. I rather express the way I feel than bottle it up. I encourage my friends express their feelings to me as well whether it’s about me or not. I try to help them out any way I can whether it is giving them advise or just helping them deal with a family problem they are having at home. I express myself and I wish for my friends to do the same towards me.
Just this past summer was a very difficult time for me emotionally because, as I remember saying, I lost a relative close and dear to my heart. She could never be replaced. I think I will never fully recover from the shock and pain of losing someone so close to me, but knowing that the person I loved is in a better place now, makes me a stronger person every day. This was really an eye opening experience for me to go through because never in my life have I had a person die who was close to me. I have never experienced any loss of a loved one, nor felt that pain of having lost a close relative. I believe I have now gotten stronger because it.
If I could, I would choose to remember only the good times I had with the ones I loved that have passed on, but only I know that that is not possible. I know I could only chose one way to remember a person and that I think would not be it. I would love just to be carefree and have no problems whatsoever in life, but that is not how life goes either. You have to think logically and practically. That is what I’m doing. I would want to remember the truth about people, the accurate memories if you will. Even if some of the memories are painful, I would rather remember what that person was really like and not just remember some past little memories of happy times that that person left behind. The truth is what I truly want to remember whether it be sad or happy.
Which brings to me my final response. I am scared of what the future holds for me because it is unclear. What is more anxiety provoking or worrisome for me is, what will happen if I lose my loved ones, or what will happen if they shall loose me. Either way I am scared to death because I know nobody likes being alone in life. I look at myself and think that I am a hard person for people to forget so I think it would be harder for people to lose me as a friend. I have lost people and it hurts and it does make me feel sad at moments but pretty soon I try to move on.
As I have never once dealt with loss in a way that impacted me at all, this has been insightful on what someone feels.
Ever since my first blog, most of my examples are my personal stories or past experiences that I have been through. I’m sure those who have been reading my blogs know that I have actually set a theme. Usually the questions I answer relate to love somehow. As for the last blog for the semester, I will keep things consistent and do the same. So, what will I leave behing?
“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid
For some reason I’m not afraid to lose a loved one. I may sound heartless for saying this but after all I am just saying it, aren’t I? I know it’s very contradicting to say something and do completely the opposite because that’s who I am. I’ll admit it right now because it is hard to admit something like this. At the moment I will be saying this now but I know feelings will pour out eventually. It’s wrong and right at the same time. You see, we all know people will die eventually, we know their days are getting closer each moment as we speak but yet it’s a surprise to us when they are finally gone. That is the one thing that separates humans from other species on earth. We grieve for the ones we have lost but we knew this day would come. I remember reading a sad story from a website. A boy lost his pet dog and his parents didn’t know how to tell him so they told him honestly that his pet dog had passed. The boy brightly said, “It’s okay, I know why he left so early just like other dogs. They learn to love so they don’t need to stay any longer.”
The reason why we live such sad lives is because we don’t learn to let go. Don’t mistake this for not caring. This is what true love is. I know Feraco has said that love has many interpretations and it has different meaning for each person. Love is defined in many different ways. How do we know how love is really like? Love is to learn how to let go of someone and be glad that you had that you have experienced it and move on with life. Remember the good and bad times; cherish those memories. Love is like time, it changes; it changes you as well and it never looks back.
Love of course leaves us vulnerable. It’s a funny contradiction. I already admit that I wouldn’t want to lose a loved one but yet I’m okay with it because we must move on somehow right? But don’t you get it? That is what leaves us so vulnerable. We get so attached to love that we think love is about holding on but it really isn’t. Love changes like the river. Love is never the same and even if it is the same it never flows the same way that it did one second ago. It will not be 100% accurate to how it was before. Feraco has been explaining it all along. The river is the key to understanding love and how to understand ourselves. How can you love without letting go of your own selfishness? How can you love if you don’t expect change?
There are many concepts that I still haven’t grasped onto yet. What have you learned? For me, there is something I have learned throughout this semester. I can’t explain this any longer. Go figure it out yourself; that is when it all becomes crystal clear.
I agree on the part about how we need to let go. You have an interesting point of view on love.. good job on your post!
I have to be remembered as who I truly am. Because the me that is remembered with only the good aspects isn't me. I don't know who that would be. Everyone is their own individual person, and I would want to be remembered as the individual I was. I'm not perfect. I'm me. The person who has lied, failed, disappointed, bullied, etc. I'm a good person. I'm a bad person. Why not both?
But, our brains always remember good because there's no point in keeping the bad stuff. There's really no point in holding grudges, is there?
I wouldn't know though. I have never had a direct experience in death. To be specific, I have been lucky enough to have none of my family members die in my lifetime. But I can't say I don't know it. I have technically experienced two deaths.
For example, my grandfather. My biological grandfather. He died before I was born, even before my mom was really mature enough to understand it. But that time is always there in my head. Springtime, 1979. Both my mother and my grandmother has told me about him.
How he could make anyone laugh when he told a joke.
How he left our family to fight in the war.
How he was captured.
How he died in my grandmother's arms.
How good he was.
How kind he was.
Good. Kind. Funny. Brave.
Was I supposed to be sad that he died? That he was taken from my life before he even had a chance to be a part of it? Yea, I guess I was. I was supposed to be sad when we prayed for him every single year at the end of March. I cried. We all cried. But I wasn't grieving. I didn't lose him. I never had him. But I don't know how to react to his death. I don't know how to feel about anyone's death. Well, death is inevitable.
But I wouldn't know how to handle it
I don't know how to deal with it.
Even though you never knew who he was, it must be pretty sad because of all the knowledge you know about him so I'm sorry you grandfather died and hope he rest in peace. Don't worry you'll see him up there, but overall good response keep it up.
Oh wow. That was touching. But I liked how you formatted your blog because there was so much emphasis to your points.
I agree with that Riyan said on how you emphasize to your points. And also sounds very emo like and very gloomy.
In different environments, I choose to act differently. I act differently at home than at school. Surprisingly, at home I am a lot more quieter, and more talkative at school. In different situations, I will react in different ways. To different people, I will seem slightly different. I act differently around people that aren't near my age group than to people that are in my age group. Around adults I am very shy and quiet, but around my friends I am usually outgoing and loud.
I deal with loss very... strangely. I shut everything and everyone out and try to stray as far as I can from the person I am losing. I grieve by distracting myself, or attempt to distract myself. My grieving strategies show my weakness, because it shows how vulnerable I am to people I love. Looking back at the people I lost, due to death, I realized I was never near them near their parting days. It’s not that I chose to be far from them, but it just happened that way. But thinking back, I was always glad I wasn’t there, because I don’t know how I would react. I often imagine myself sobbing uncontrollably or maybe I would just stare with an emotionless face. I think it’s interesting studying those feelings, but at the same time it’s like a pandora box and you don’t whether you will like what you reveal or not. Grief is a loose term, and people experience grief in their own special ways.
I would choose to remember my friends and family accurately.. I think. To know people accurately I can make my judgement about them whether they are good or not. I would like people to me to remember me as I am. I mean sure, it might not be in my favor, but that’s me and all of me. I think they would respect my wishes, but it is always their choice to remember me how they want.
The way you grieve reminds me of the proverb "ignorance is bliss." I can understand that being near a person you are losing may cause more sorrow. Personally, I would choose to be near a person I am losing for as long as possible and to make the most of our time together. Although your post is short, it is well-written. Nice job!
I used to hold a different face. Different ones for different situations. That was my way of keeping my composure. Maintaining my facade.
After an argument with a friend, he told me something that shocked me. Something that made me ponder the decisions I’ve made in my life. To me, it was profound, something to made me experience an epiphany.
“What’s the point of being your friend if you’re going to be a different person and fake everything? Just be yourself.”
What he said was something about me that was worth changing. I told myself I’ll try it. I’ll try to be me to the best of my abilities cause I’m still out to discover myself. And so I did. I stopped the personas, and became myself. I responded the way I usually would. There were no more artificial remarks. Everything was genuine to the best I could be.
It turned for the worse. Soon people started treating me differently. It was unpleasant. People didn't like who I was. They responded by talking behind my back, saying rude remarks. And that hurt, but it doesn't matter. The only thing on my mind was:
“Am I that much of a bad person?”
I didn’t want to cause stress, to mess things up. I was just trying an advice given to me. But it’s something I shouldn’t have listened to. Now I’m losing friends. It hurts, yet it’s true. I find it difficult to talk to people now; it’s like I’m sheltering myself from everyone, including myself. But it’s too late to change. Only five more month left to endure. Five more months of solitude, defeat, rejection.
But it’s five more months till a new beginning. It’s five more months till I’m undiscovered, five more month to build something new, something better.
Being myself is important but having different faces only helps determine what’s best for me. I’ve been living in the past for too long, because the past was the only time I had good memories. But it’s time to let that go.
And lastly, I don’t want to be remembered because the memories accompanied with me are shameful, hurtful, and pathetic. I want to be forgotten. I want to forget who I was, and start something new. It’s not too late yet, or so I’m told.
But as of right now, I’m done. I’ve caused enough harm and enough stress. I’m sorry for that.
This is a very genuine post. Your feelings of failure and loss are as if channeled through your words and I can very well experience the emotions you are going through. I like your post! But, I am a bit concerned about why you don't want to be remembered. What comes after you are forgotten by the "friends" you have now? Do you want your future friends in the to remember you? maybe remember you when you are at your best?
I'm glad that you weren't afraid to pour your heart out about your failures; most people aren't as brave. I wouldn't think about yourself as a bad person though because, what IS a bad person? You are strongly capable of converting yourself for the better and you shouldn't let anyone tell you how you should be. Keep your head held high and I will always be here for you, because you are you.
Memory works with accuracy.
Without that, there is no such thing.
Accuracy is precise attention to detail; Makes sense, right?
Without that, you're basically making things up as you go along. Always surprised.
It's like floating down a river without a paddle.
For me, having idyllic memories of all that you know doesn't go well with what life is about. It sounds cheap, and unsatisfying. Yet if everything was so accurate, it would be boring. Culture wouldn't even have a reason to exist because we've already built ourselves up on a pretty hefty pile of things like legends and heroes, science fiction and so on that have lead to great stories and memories.
Memory has its own tragic flaw, however. It's a long process. More complicated than you could have thought or imagined.
The brain is powerful, of course. Runs like a machine, looks like an organ.
How much can we actually trust our own mind? Don't trip out, your mind is yours and yours only.
Think about a computer.
It's not so much that we're all keeping secrets from ourselves, because we aren't all insane. (interesting topic actually.) but rather; how much can we handle until it's time to clear space?
Our minds work in three ways when it comes to memory.
Acquisition , Consolidation , and Recall
The first and the last being the two processes that occur while we're awake, with the middle happening while we sleep.
Newly acquired information requires consolidation for details and accuracy.
Total Recall is involved in the film industry, literature, music, television and video games; but sadly it isn't involved in your brain.
so we rely on the middle man.
Not only is our subconscious giving us idyllic powers to play while we're knocked out, but it's working with our reality processor at the same time?!
Back to thinking about a computer. When you're asleep, your brain starts working on processing all the information that it couldn't while you had so many other things going on while you were awake. In other words, you're constantly downloading new information. Some files are reviewed immediately and others are saved until later.
Then life has to go and ruin the ride..
Eventually, it takes longer to download files. We'll never stop. Unfortunately unlike computers we can't just close programs or uninstall to make things run smoother or process quicker.
You know what though; In the end I'll bet it isn't entirely clear for any of us what we truly remember (first job?) and where we filled in the gaps (childhood memories).
If I had to choose between idyllic and accurate, I'd go with the latter. I'm more of a thinker than a dreamer. Sometimes it feels like a curse.
I do realize though that the most tragic thing about life and memories isn't what we've suffered or endured; but what we haven't. Because we have forever for the destination but brief time for the ride.
I'm sure we'd all rather be doing anything else other than staring out the window, alone.
I think you interpretation of idyllic memories is very different "sounds cheap and unsatisfying". Your comparison of memories to computers was also very interesting. I like how you said that "memory has its own tragic flaw". Your writing was honest which I appreciate . However, what do you mean when you say that "I'm more of a thinker than a dreamer. Sometimes it feels like a curse"? How is it a curse?
thanks, and, I meant more of an over thinker. I've been told it's only confusing and painful to think too much. Sort of like there's less time and no effort left to dream if I exhaust my head with thoughts.
too bad I can't just get a new processor for my brain \:
I'd love to have a speedier mind
As our final days of first semester wither away so does the day of childhood soon we will graduate and move one from the way we once were though some people will struggle to leave and to let go of the kid they used to be. To the people that bear to leave home because they think that they won’t fit in outside of the city I say…
“Keep moving Forward” (Walt Disney)
Because to grow up one must first grow out of the familiar and into the unknown and once the unknown is known it is easy to realize that it was not everything that seemed impossible to do is just needed a new way of thinking about it.
To the people that think that what we have done in the 12 years we will define us for the rest of our lives. That what a person has said to you that was bad will hold weight in the future. To them I say …
“Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.”(Ronald Reagan)
How will people remember us?
How do we want to be remembered?
Do we even want to be remembered?
Remembrance, legacy, heroism, infamous, famous
These are some way people are remembered and sometimes it’s for something bad they did that affected everyone in a big way and sometimes it’s for the think you did when no one was watching (or at least you thought it was).
The way that I would like to be remember is not the way my friends think I would like to be remembered by I would like to be remembered by the kindness I show to everyone for the help I give to those how ask for it the forgiveness I would like to give in my darkest hours and the respect I show to all. No I am not saying that I am going to be a perfect role model in all of this even though I will like to I know that I will forget and my hope is that I find friends and loved ones that will remind me to do this.
Wow, this is something we can all relate to. Its reflective and nostalgic! It is amazing to realize all the things we've done these past years in school. It'll be hard for us all when we have to think about this while we're moving away from home. It's great that you realize this now!
I agree with your post, thats how i would like to be remembered
“God has given you one face but you choose to make another one yourself” ~William Shakespeare.
All of us were created differently with a purpose and we often screw it up by changing ourselves into someone we are not. All were created in the most beautiful way possible that may not always be the appearance.
I try my very best to never build different faces to anyone different but I honestly struggle to apply it. I realize that it is okay to stand out to the crowd, in fact it is better but I still struggle. Before I started to read the bible, I was a lot worst. I was so extremely quiet and I would never talk to anyone and can never make friends with anyone. After reading it I started to see some changes and improvement especially when I got to Timothy.
It was Timothy 4:4 where it stated, “For everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” Why would I ever have another face, create a different side or be a different person when I already have, well…me. The one thing that I never hide in front of anyone is my faith. I always tell people that my life is full of blessings and I am so thankful to have Jesus in my life because I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. He is my everything and he is all I need. If God had wanted me otherwise, he would have me created otherwise.
In my prayer at night, I would always say to the millions and the millions who do not know the savior Jesus to please touch their heart one by one so they could realize that everything comes from you and nobody else. I would never hide my beautiful relationship with the almighty Jesus Christ not even in a threatening situation. I would never have another face, different side or be a different person when it comes to my faiths and beliefs.
My time here in this world is limited and short and I do not want to waste another minute living someone else’s life. As Pablo Picasso stated, “if you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become a pope. Instead I became a painter and became Picasso.”
I am going to start my blog entry with another example of how history is sometimes written by the winning side. In a video game I recently played titled Assassin’s Creed 3, the main portion of the game is playing in the 18th century colonies of America. You follow the entire lifespan of Native American whose father was from Great Britain. He lived in the villages of his native people and it was burnt down by the British in order to expand the colonial cities. Conner the native boy survives along with many others but watches his own mother die in the fire of greed. Immediately through the grapevine he discovers his father was behind the decision to expand the city territory.
I bring this up because in our history books, historical evidence, journal publications, encyclopedias, Wikipedias of the American Revolution we mainly read of suffering that colonists went through that led to a revolt and successfully claiming The New World. The story of Conner fighting what small battles he can fight that would prolong the eradication of his people. But no sympathy is ever given in our history classes for the suffering they experienced when they stole the land they called home and treated them like people that didn’t belong in America. It is truly sad that whenever a winner is decided there will be a loser that will be over looked.
We may not know what side was justified, we almost always see the winner justifying themselves. Creating any bad image they want of those who can’t speak louder than the ones with the spotlight.
There are many other situations that this takes effect no matter the importance such a middle school drama. Or even as large as a prisoner of war that escaped creating a story to make himself look like a war hero although he may have thrown other prisoners under the bus in order to have an opportunity of escape. It’s up to the witnesses to shed the truth but to what extent is up to them.
P.S. Happy First Blog Entries of 2013 to everyone!
Awww, come on Mike! You've just spoiled AC3's plot line for me.
-10 points, come on man
But in all seriousness, good essay. You bring an age old idea to a contemporary audience.
P.S. Put [SPOILERS!] next to plot specific stuff next time:D
My mom would expect me to do something that can help both of us and help our family.
I screwed up... I don't know how many times I have failed my mom when it comes to her asking me to do something. I don't know how many times I've said sorry. I'm one of those kids who can provide a good impression but on the long run, I take very minute steps toward success. But I've never had a taste of success, I've never reach anywhere near my goals... I tend to fail a lot of people, mainly my self. Back when I a kid, my mom told me that I had a really kind heart, a heart that was never black, that's always trying to help others. She was right, I really love help people, helping things like animals find a home. She told me that I loved helping people and other things that are outside of the family, that I never noticed to see that I was never helping my family, my mom when she needed help from the most, when my dog needed a father to go out to walk with around the block. If I was to somehow vanish from this world one day, which we all will eventually, I truly think that people are just going to say that I was a kind man and nothing else. I know for those reading who might know me, you might say, that I'm better than that or something like that.
I've had many bad memories, and very few that are good. I think I learned, or figured out during my young high school years, was that many of the bad memories can and are actually good memories. Some can be in terms of wisdom that one can grow spiritually from within, knowledge of whether or not we will be capable of making the same mistake(s), or just depends on which perspective you are viewing the memory in. When I lose something, I tend to make my self feel bad, meaning like, I tend to think that it's my fault for the problem, it was because of me it is now gone. I think that we tend to remember figures from our past more favorably than they deserve depending on how long ago it was. The reason why is because we humans, tend to exaggerate so many things, just the American motto, "The bigger, the better". It is not the victors who write or tell the history, it is the people who stand and watch in awe who tell stories, write poems, write stories and pass it on from people to people, generations to generations.
I think I'm more afraid of losing the ones I love due to my mistakes than them losing me. Like I said before, I tend to make a lot of mistakes in life, some very big and impactful on either my life or others and some that are minor but they still make a difference. To be honest, I strong dislike being lonely, I think we all do. We are always striving to find some sort of attention at one point or another. I think that fear is at the heart of love. You can't love anything without fear,"The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost."
There’s always a different mask for every situation. People tend to act differently to different people. There’s the social mask that people use to interact with people they don’t know. Then there’s a mask for friends. Then there’s one for loved ones. Each mask has a different thickness so to speak. To some people you are closer to yourself. Only when you are alone are you truly yourself. The masks change according to how you categorize someone. That means if you use a certain mask for them when you first meet them, it can change. You could get closer and instead use a different mask. We use these masks to protect ourselves. They are like the shell of a crustacean, protecting the sensitive insides. I know I do it. And I’m sure other people put on masks too.
I am more afraid of losing the ones I love than I am afraid of the ones I love losing me. I guess in the case of the former, I’ll be left to grieve over a loss. In the latter I would be gone already and I wouldn’t feel the grief they feel. I think love gives us the strength to prepare for the end and the death of someone. But, it also gives us a weakness. Because we love them, we fear losing them. Yet fear also leads us to strength. Since we will eventually lose our loved ones, we will (ideally) treasure them even more. We will spend our remaining times together wisely. Fear and love are intertwined. Their relationship with each other will always exist.
Our feelings we feel when someone dies should be mixed. We should feel sad and grieve for them, yes. But, we should also take into account how they died. Did they die happily, doing what they loved? If they did, we should be happy for them. We should also be happy we met someone as great as him or her. We will miss them. We will cry for them. But we will also remember all the times spent together. Both the good times and the bad times. They have left their impressions on us. The life we live itself is their legacy. Without them, life wouldn’t be the way it is.
Death is one of the only things that are permanent. It is also one of the only things that will happen for certain. No matter how much we try, we will die one day. Other things are within our willpower to change. Only death is impossible to keep off. That’s why people fear it and grieve over it. As much as I would like to think there’s something after this, I have a feeling that it’s the end.
Different faces in different places.
I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true. I’d like to think that I am the best I can be to everyone, but it really isn’t the case. I am too selfish.
When I am with someone I really care for and love, and can be everything they ever need and maybe even more. I can make all the sacrifices for them, even do things for them that I wouldn’t normally do for myself. For Example I find a lot easier to do my boyfriend’s homework than to do my own or to wash his dishes than my own. On the other hand, when I really don’t care about someone I can be the just the most ungrateful brat.
When someone dies…(from a Christian perspective)
If a believer of Christ dies, there is no need to grieve. The reason is, though there flesh may fail them, their soul lives on, and you know that one day you will be reunited with them. Christians believe that our bodies merely serve has a as a temporary suit, and that our lives on this earth is just a short journey we go through before our souls are to be with God for eternity. When our brothers and sisters in Christ die, we simply look at is as if they’ve moved away for a while. Sure, we will miss them, but we know that we will get to see them again one day.
If a non-believer dies, then there is a reason to grieve. We don’t so much grieve that we have lost them, but we fear where they are going.
Of course we feel sad when Beowulf dies. We feel that he doesn’t deserve to die because he died from an unselfish cause.
Earlier today, Mr. Feraco asked whether we give someone the death penalty to punish them or to keep them from causing more trouble in the future?
I think it depends on the individual, and that it would be unfair to compare Macbeth to Grendal because they aren’t of the same species. Macbeth is a human. He has feelings, emotions, thoughts, a conscience…, a soul…? But does Grendal have a conscience or a soul? Does he have morals?
Because we are unable to communicate with Grendal we don’t know what he is really thinking. We don’t know whether he was killing people because he hates them and wishes to cause them pain or if he just doesn’t know better. It would be like saying a man goes hunting in the woods every week, but one day he goes hunting out in the woods and suddenly an extremely strong rabbit gets a hold of his arm and rips it off. He might not know what he is doing and that what he is doing is wrong. In court, a person that is mentally ill gets more leeway than a normal person who commits the same crime, because they aren’t fully capable of their actions. In this case, we would kill Grendal, not because he deserves it but because we want to prevent him from killing others.
In Macbeth’s case, we kill him because he deserves it and because we don’t want him to be a danger to others. Macbeth was pretty much asking to be killed. There are so many times in the book where he could have prevented his demise, yet to he tried to take his opponents head on. When Grendal realizes that Beowulf is actually stronger than him, and that he will definitely loose, he tries to escape. Grendal kills without a dirty conscience. But Macbeth kills with a purpose. He kills to fuel his greed, and he can’t stop. Even when he is given the opportunity to escape, he chooses not to because he is too full of pride.
Most of us always say that we would not change for other people. But don’t we all? We say things to certain people that we normally wouldn’t to others. Our stories and how we act adapt to what would make the other person happier.
I even sometimes question myself if I have multiple personality disorder. Does this make me a psychopath? Eh, probably not, maybe I’m just a really good liar. But it just is a constant reminder of how we can act so differently around various types of people but all the while, remaining the same. We just go on ahead with our lives, making it as easy as possible.
Dealing with a death of someone you treasured is never easy. It feels like someone pelted you with a heavy rock that makes you feel like your chest has been hollowed out.
We all grieve in different ways, some more intensely than others. But can’t grief be a sign of our strengths and weaknesses? After all, what is strength without weakness? Can’t is be honorable and self-indulgent at the same time? Isn’t showing that you genuinely cared for someone better than just keeping it in and showing nothing at all?
For all the opportunities we face in life, everyone misses at least some. If you believe you have not passed one and let it go, you’re probably lying to yourself. But it makes the opportunities and the fun, unforgettable memories worth all the more. I will forever be grateful to some of the good memories I will remember, along with the people.
With all these opportunities, it also gives a chance for us to be remembered by the people we cherish. I’d rather have people remember me as I am, with all my flaws and at my best. After all, if we’re all remembered at our best, and our best only, it wouldn’t be realistic. And as for if I will be remembered more favorably or negatively than I deserve, I really don’t mind about which way it will sway. All I know is that I left an impact on something that’s hopefully positive, and that’s all that matters.
Day and day people die.
A father, a son, a daughter, a mother.
People close to us fade away, taken to a better place.
In the past two years I have lost four people in my family. It was their time. Every death is like a piece of your heart crumbling off. It is a piece of your life gone, a story ended. I deal with death very roughly. I am terrified of death, I hate to think about it. Death cannot be overcome.
When Someone close to me dies I cry. I tear up of the thought that they are gone. never to return. I feel sorrow for them as they're story is over. I spend days and days cry. crying at the thought that i will no longer see them. the most hurtful thing is the constant guilt you have once they are gone. The thought of you not being there enough, doing enough. By then it is to late and you just begin to hate yourself for it. A loss is a great pain that cannot be undone. I am not ashamed to say that i cry when someone dies because it is an unforgettable thing that has such a huge impact.
“Don’t be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin”-anonymous
It’s interesting how we can be so surprised by death when everyone is expected to die. We humans have the “natural” desire to prolong our lives, we are naturally afraid of death because it scares us when we find out that we will be gone…forever.
I don’t doubt that I will be sad if someone dies, especially if it is someone I know and hold dear. But I wouldn’t think of “missed opportunities” or even feel guilty because I would assume that person was happy too at one point in their life. And like happiness I see grief as an honest feeling; it should be honest, not as a sign of strength or weakness. It’s not easy to grieve because I find grief as a spontaneous emotion that is triggered by upsetting and unfair news.
My feeling of loss is difficult to analyze because at times I am not sure of what I have lost until later. I haven’t experienced a tremendous amount of loss but I think every person that I chose to remember will always be someone who I am grateful of meeting. I at least know that he or she was real. I think that it is best to remember the good memories because you can’t make anymore memories with that person. Memories of a loved one will always be more idyllic than accurate, I think that it sooths the heart to know of a loved one at their best or better. It really goes both ways, to remember someone at their best and to be remembered as the best is what we all want.
“We know what we are but not what we may be”- Shakespeare
Upon my death, I hope to be remembered by at least those who I love. I would like to be remembered as myself at my best, when I am most comfortable and carefree. I don’t think that it is very difficult for my family and friends to remember me as such. I know my family well enough to say that the image that they keep of me will be when I was around five or seven. But my friends will most likely remember me for my present self because soon enough we will be parting ways. As of right now I think history will remember me more favorably than I deserve, most because I’m only seventeen.
I too tend to remember people more favorably than they deserve because I feel like since they are at a point of no return that we owe it to them. Maybe because we are luckier in that we are alive and they were less lucky so we compensate for them by remembering them at their best. And yet sometimes we can’t help but rewrite our memories of them. I don’t think rewriting our memories of them is “killing them again” but rather a more accurate memory of how much truth we knew of the person.
I admit that I build different faces for different places. I am still myself however I think that it is necessary to accommodate certain situations by building different faces. It’s not like having an alternate ego but rather a sort of skill of protecting one-self. My views and thoughts keep changing, after re-listening to the song “I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie, it seems like love and death go hand in hand. Perhaps Fear is at the heart of love. I think experiencing love makes a person vulnerable but at the same time makes a person stronger. Vulnerability isn’t necessarily a bad thing, being vulnerable allows a person to live.
“I am Samantha Chang and you are not”-Sammy
Wonderful post! And I love how that last quote really ties it all together very well. You are who you are, not how someone else makes you to be.
I try to be my best whenever I can, but sometimes it can be hard to truly show my real potential. Most times I fail on showing how I want them to look at me. I try to be a good kid at home, but it is hard. I wondered why I couldn’t show the better me at home, but I realized I was a human and was not always perfect even if I wanted to.
I definitely have different faces depending on situations, people, and places. Most people might say that it is bad to have different faces, but everyone have different faces just that they don’t like to admit it. If I had to light up the mood in a bad situation I would do it as a reaction, If someone asks me to do them a favor when I am really tired then I would probably not do it; not because I don’t like to help, but because of the situation I was in. We are all different with different people. We all have different kind of relationship with everyone. I would probably like to spend more time with the people I like and talk to him or her more than someone I don’t know really well. Everyone is different at home and outside. At home we might act more freely and relaxed, at work we all dress up with our work clothes and try to act more professional and kind.
Death is something everyone will face sooner or later. We all had experienced with a loss or might later on, in my own experience I think it could be one of the biggest thing that could leave a scar especially if is a loved one, a family member, a friend or anyone close to you. I think it is okay to be sad for a loss, but there has to be a time when we need to move on. We cannot be sad forever, we have to live our lives as happy as possible. Happiness is not a goal, but something we should have everyday.
When my grandmother passed away, my life was completely changed. It was like starting a different life. I wonder what my life would have been if she still lived. My grandmother was like my mother; my grandparents were taking caring of me since I was born so I would call them mom and dad because they were like ones and had raised me. The day my grandmother passed away, I was sad but at the same time it did not feel real. It all seemed like a dream, I thought I was still dreaming for couple of days. I guess I wasn’t used to dealing with losses. After couple months, I began to live my life normally, leaving behind the memories. Few years later, when I matured and grew, I started to realize the kind of a grandmother I had. Growing up, I didn’t see a grandmother like mine. I am wounded not because she had passed away, but because I did not get to thank her for all she had done for me.
Where am I… I thought to myself when I opened my eyes. When I look around me, I see nothing but looming darkness surrounding me. Confused at what is happening, I slowly got up. Even though I just got up, I felt better than I ever was. The back pain that normally troubles me continuously stopped. I just feel so much… younger. While I was thinking of these changes, I slowly walked forward. After around 1-2 minutes of walking, I saw a glimpse of light in front of me. As soon as I saw the light, I hastened my pace to see what is over there. After all, I want to know what is going on right now. Soon, I was already inches away from the bright light. Without hesitating, I quickly entered the blinding light.
For a second, I couldn’t open my eyes due to the sudden light surrounding me. As soon as my eyes readjusted, I started to focus what is happening around me. I was standing at the entrance. First thing I notice was I was at a church-like setting. A crowd of people have gathered at the rows of seats. All dressed in black like how people would dress like in a funeral. Wait, A funeral. What? Who died. As my thoughts jump all over the place, I see an old friend that used to work with me in the same company walked forward. In fact, now I take a closer look, I see that almost everyone that is sitting in this place is people that I met in some point of my life. It almost seem like this funeral is made for me… As I kept thinking, my old friend, Tom, started to speak.
“Today, I want to talk about a close friend of mine. Leo was a great man to me. For he…” Tom continued talking.
My mind started to process what he just said. Me? Was? What is this bull he is spewing out? My thoughts are once again confused at what Tom said. I turned around and saw a huge picture of me behind Tom. Then the next thing I know, I remembered what happened. I was at the hospital struggling to survive from a simple fever. My body simply can’t handle the fever and I died. It was such a simple death. So I am dead… Ahahahaha. I never thought I could watch my own funeral displayed right before my eyes. Probably I better watch this since this is my last moments for everyone here. By the time I look up again, I see my son, Edward, preparing to make his way up. This is perhaps the first time I seen him dress up so formally since he hated dressing up. Even when he goes to job interview, he wears a T-shirt and jean. I continued to look at him while he is preparing to make his speech. Hoping he can surprise me.
“Ahem, today, we all gathered here today to honor my father. A man that done many great things in his life time. Today, I want to mention some of the worthy things he has done in his life.” Edward announced.
As he finished saying that, he took out an old notebook. That notebook looks familiar…
“So, continuing on. Mom, do you remember the nights that dad used to work “over-time”? He was really drinking beer with his friends till morning.”
“WHAT!?” My wife, Jennifer screamed.
“”Ahahaha well, this secret was widely known though so it is kind of boring. Let’s look for another one shall we? Let’s see here… Ah this one is good. Hey Tom!” Edward said.
“Yeah? There is something about me too?” Tom replied.
“Yup, it seems like during one of programming project that you guys worked on. The coding disappeared right? Well, it was actually your good friend that did it. He was eating some stew he bought and accidently spilled it all over the laptop. The computer restarted properly but all the information was lost. Ahahaha this one is good” Edward laughed loudly while talking to Tom.
“THAT [JERK]! I SPENT DAYS FIXING A MISTAKE HE MADE? HE EVEN LIED SAYING IT WAS MY FAULT FOR NOT SAVING!” Tom screamed out loud.
Then Edward continued to tell one secret after another. Each time something is said, some of the audience starts to curse loudly at me. Eventually, the whole audience is so heated up that they started walking up to my picture and yell at it as if I was the person.
“YOU BETTER NOT GET OUT OF THAT GRAVE OF YOURS!”
“YOUR LUCKY YOU DIED EARLY!”
“HOPE YOU LIKE IT IN HELL!”
“WHAT. THE. [HECK]. ARE. YOU. DOING.” I shouted.
This perfectly normal funeral was ruined all because of the secrets I kept in a notebook for self-enjoyment. Out of all the people that could find the book, it just had to me my own son! Without realizing, I started walking up to Edward and want to throw a punch in his face even. As I got near him, I immediately aimed for his face. Of course, my hand just went through and nothing happened. As I was about to try again, I saw Edward started to talking once again.
“In the end, my father was never a great man. He fails many of our expectations. I want everyone to know that right now. However, I do believe that he is a good man. He tried his best for all of us. So even if I know he lied to us all at one point of his life, I can still hold my head up and treat my father with respect. So if you can hear me dad, enjoy your vacation.”
In the midst of chaos, I was probably the only one that heard his final speech. I didn’t know what else I could say. Tears slowly dripped down from my eyes. It was only now I realized how fulfilling of a life I have lived; the life that others didn’t know about. I am glad I wrote a notebook full of secrets. Above all else, I am proud of my son for sharing who I really am to the world. Slowly, the world around me turns dark once again. In seconds, the room surrounding me is now once again the pitch darkness that I started in. I slowly lay on my back. Perhaps feeling tired from the excitement earlier, I closed my eyes. As my eyes closed, I can feel myself slowly disappear, just like the time I died in the hospital.
“Goodbye” I muttered quietly.
Once again, the room is filled with nothing but darkness..
“I don't want to die without any scars.”
- Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I like your story, its getting better and better~
Zhao! Told you, you like doing stories. But I like reading them because they are full of good ideas! Even though this is one of our last blogs, keep writing stories!
Feeling sadness when we lose someone close to us is a normal thing, most people grieve and remember the things about these people they loved the most, the things that they are going to miss the most. Everyone gets hit with that initial boom, that moment you realize the person is gone forever. You should therefore feel sad when losing someone you care about, and in the case of Beowulf, one should feel that initial boom, but quickly realize he went out with a bang. He died the death of a warrior, he died the best way he could have possibly died. Beowulf could have possibly died to Grendel or his mother, those deaths would not have been notable though. He would not have been able to complete what he was capable of doing, he would not be remembered. He would not have gotten to finish his life. That would have been the death that would leave one lingering with that feeling of sadness.
I have different feelings on grief though
On one hand, I feel grief does not show weakness in any way, it only shows how close you were to a person and how much they affected your life.
But on the other hand, grief puts you in a different state of mind.
It can start to control your entire life if not contained.
The main example I can think of comes from one of my grandmothers.
She was married happily to one of my grandfathers, they lived a happy life together for a good 10 years. But, not all good things last.
My grandfather was killed in a car accident.
Although I was too young to remember this, I hear about how devastated my grandmother was after the accident. She got hit with that “boom”, and she got hit really hard. Months past, I hear from my parents that she has never been the same since the accident. She has never stopped the grief. She never tried to find love again, the grief was holding her back from living her life to the fullest after her first love had past.
That is why I feel it can be a weakness, and a major weakness at that.
I'm really glad that you shared your grandmother's story. It's always good to hear different experiences and how it affects a person. I like how you said that weakness "only shows how close you were to a person and how much they affected your life". Have you ever thought of weakness as a positive thing? I like how you seemed really honest in your post and that you used your Grandmother's story.
The title seems quite appropriate for this blog, seeing as it is our final “normal” one.
Humans are quite interesting creatures. We have evolved and adapted into our current forms, allowing us to become to dominate species. We still are adapting. We try to adapt to certain situations. One way of adapting is by acting differently. People don't like feeling uncomfortable and they will do all that they can to fix that situation by changing themselves to fit the situation if they cannot change the situation. No one tells a stranger everything about themselves, because it is awkward. It is uncomfortable. When a person becomes more familiar with a situation, they tend to let more of a “true face” slip out. It is a primal defense mechanism to protect ourselves from the unknown, which is why any person would act differently between two different situations.
People live with regrets, that just part of life. We each have a regret, a girl, a action. We dream that we did it differently somehow. We dream how our lives could be different. We miss opportunities everyday, life goes by and a different action can change the course of life completely. While we wallow in our past, the importance of the past is done, the future looms, and from the past we learn. We learn to try and not live with regret, and we learn to move past it. We grow from loss, regret, and pain, we become the people we are because of it.
“I know I should respect the dead, but first you have to earn it” - DR
I always found a funeral quite ironic, especially when someone who dies is expected to die. I always see people dressed in black, sobbing, and making tearful remarks about the deceased. However is that really the correct way to celebrate the dead? If we are celebrating how is crying appropriate. The mourners, if we can call them that, should be instead celebrating all the accomplishments which the decease has done during their lifetime. We aren't showing regret for how little the decease has experienced, but for the full life they have lived. As Dumbledore once stated death is the next great adventure. (Let me make this clear that I am not talking about, unforeseen deaths, but more about old age deaths, predictable and painless. For those more tragic deaths, which unfortunately has been happening more frequently, mourn.) So I would rather have people remember the life that I lived, not the things which I have never experienced.
I never really cared how people thought of me, especially in high school, since 99% of the people I know won't be talking about me in the following year, and in about two to five years, 99% of the people I know won't even remember how I look like, much less how I acted. Of course, I am still guilty of putting on an exterior “face”. In all honestly, memories are nothing. They are intangible, unreliable, but yet they play such a big part in all of our lives. Our perspective, personalities, and morals are shaped by our memories. We learn to avoid past mistakes. Memories, like the host, eventually fade to nothing. Therefore I don't care for how they remember me, just that they do. Like a friend once told me, “if you aren't remembered, then you never existed”.
Isn't that what we all fear the most, never existing?
So as long as I am remembered, I never die. I am immortal.
Lately my life has been… difficult.
As we all know, we seniors are graduating from high school soon. Many people share a mixed feeling of bitter sweetness. On one hand, it’s great. We’re leaving in the pursuit of a more independent life. Escaping problems at home, getting out on our own, and making decisions for the rest of life that lay ahead. The answer I don’t know and fear…
Who is joining us for the rest of our life?
Some people are really happy to leave high school. I guess I can say I am, I’m not happy about what might possibly be left behind though. My high school life would have been a complete bore that I would have loved for nothing more than it to end if it had not been for the theatre department. I have made the best friends of my entire life in this department. After spending four years in a place you can call home, you become accustomed to so many things. Like one of my good friends Anthony Nappier (who is a fellow third period searcher), when I see him in theater he’ll yell at the top of his lungs: BRUTHA CRAIG! Things like that every day that just become so normal, and so right. It’s not the place that becomes the home… it’s the people. The friends, no… best friends I’ve made.
What will become of them after we graduate?
I haven’t been dealing with the unanswered well lately… I’ve been responding with uncontrollable crying. It’s like another force inside me is taking over causing me to feel depressed all the time. My emotional stability has become too weak to fight it and it has been winning. At least after all is said and done, I’ll know that I didn’t miss opportunities to share wonderful moments with the best people that have given me some great memories. I decided to seize these moments and make myself vulnerable enough to let these more recent friendships into my life.
They mostly likely won’t end since they’ve proven themselves special, but it’s hard when I can’t be sure because I won’t know until the test of time comes! This is the most frightening time of my life I’ve gone through… but I’m giving my all to enjoy what I have left because if I sit around being sad, all this will pass by in the blink of an eye.
That’s really all I have… a blink of an eye.
So I’ll try to make it the best blink I can.
When I’m gone,
Don’t remember the bad.
Don’t remember the good.
Don’t remember the sad.
Don’t remember the happy.
Don’t remember the tears.
Don’t remember the ugly.
Don’t remember the beautiful.
Don’t remember the laughter,
Remember the way I loved you.
The way I hated you.
The way I comforted you.
The way I held you.
The way I looked at you.
The way I taught you.
The way I teased you.
The way I treated you.
Just remember me.
Not the moments.
Not the days.
Not the hours.
Or the minutes.
When I’m gone.
Remember me, as me.
No one else,
As I would remember you.
Remember me, as me.
Don’t change me in your memories.
Remember me, as me.
I’m scared. I need you. I need you more than you’ll ever need me, but that’s not what scares me. What scares me is the fact that I might lose you. I might lose you and everything that we had and I don’t want that. I care too much about you. I love you too much to bear the thought of losing you.
I know we’ve had our bad moments, but we’ve had our good ones too. I know that you can probably replace me anytime you want. I’ve seen you do it before… and yet, I still chase after you. I still hold on to you like my life depended on it. I feel like everytime I try to pull you closer, I end up making you push me away. I feel like every time we’re alone I have so much I want to say to you and yet nothing comes out. I feel like I don’t know what to say because I’m scared that you’ll see just how much I need you. I’ve always tried to be strong in front of you, but oh how that broke last year. You saw me at my lowest. You saw me at my weakest. You know what I look like when I cry. You know what scares me, but you still don’t know how much you mean to me. You don’t know just how important you are to me and that’s why I’m scared of losing you.
You know so much about me. If you left it would be like watching a part of me walk away as well. Love is at the heart of my fears. I don’t want to lose you. I need you. So.., please… please don’t go.
He is a man, a friend, a teacher, a dreamer, an adventurer, a family member, a grandfather, and most importantly – a father figure.
My grandfather is one of a kind and a child at heart. We fish together, we watch Detective Conan series together, we play card games together, we go grocery shopping together, we play hide and seek in the woods together, and we swim in the river together. He was my best friend and we were inseparable. But good things always come to an end and I was separated from my grandfather. For fifteen years, I lived without him.
When news about his death came, I didn’t know what to feel. I didn’t feel grief and I didn’t cry either. I only felt a tiny tinge of sadness. I had mix feelings because I no longer knew the once so pure and innocent grandfather, instead a tainted image of him. The good and the bad things about him, I knew both, and I chose to remember the moments when he is at his best. He died as a good man, a man who never gives up, and a man who knows how to have fun. He enjoyed his stay on earth and he was able to die with no regrets.
If I were to relive my past memories, I would want to hold idyllic memories about him. I don’t want to live in the past knowing exactly when, where, how, and why a horrendous event occurred, because I don’t want to relive the pain and fear. I want to relive the pleasant memories that held us together, not the memories that separated us. That’s why I want to be remembered at my best as well. If families or friends decide to think of me, I would want them to remember the enjoyable moments we have together. I don’t want them to linger long in the past nor do I want them to revisit the agonizing past that clash our relationships. It is better to enjoy the past then to live in the past.
So, before my grandfather’s heart beats for the last time, he whispered in my grandmother’s ears that he had a great time with me. My grandfather remembered me as that small child at her best.
I was really touched by your feelings for your grandpa!
This was a very touching post. I'm glad to know that you and your grandfather had a good relationship.
Loss is difficult to cope with. Although I’ve never lost anyone close to me, I know that I don’t ever want to feel the pains of losing a loved one. This is apparent to me because I used to shut out the possibility of my relatives passing away. I couldn’t imagine it happening. I just couldn’t. Unfortunately, with my grandpa lying on the hospital bed with cancer, I am starting to see the unbearable truth. I’m not very close to my grandpa. In fact I’ve only seen him enough times to count; however, it pains me to know he’s lying there.
If one were to see me live my life right now, he or she would assume that I don’t really care, but that’s not the case. I hate feeling sad so I try not to think about the situation or how I react to it. I guess I am just afraid to examine the ways I react when I’m emotionally wounded.
When one passes away, it is almost guaranteed that people will speak highly of this person at his or her funeral. Some will even say false statements about this person to portray a better image of him or her at the end of their life. I think this is completely fine and “the right thing to do”; however, that’s not how I would want to be remembered, as something I’m not.
I hope to be remembered as a great person. If I were to die today, my wish would be impossible, considering my selfishness and other bad personality traits and habits. Although I’m nowhere near the man I visualize myself being, I am constantly trying to better myself as an individual every day. I’ve changed so much over the past four years and I’m still changing. When the end of my life draws closer, I want to be the great person that people will speak highly of and don’t have to lie about it.
I completely agree with you. I've never lost such a close person either, nor do I ever want to know what that is like. I think its great how you want to to be remembered. Make it count!
Death is a complicated thing to deal with when you believe in Heaven... and Hell. When someone close to me dies, the first feeling I get is disbelief and depression. Like, after so long or so little maybe, an entire life ends. Gone. Not coming back. Ever. It’s weird. After a while it’s an impulse to feel sad, death is sad, if you’re not sad you’re usually considered heartless.
But as a Christian— and all of the funerals I’ve had to attend were for Christian people as well—death is just simply an end to life on earth and whoever “died” is now living in heaven. So it’s sad because it just has to be sad, but at the same time it’s happy, because they’re in a much happier place than where they just were: here.
I can get pretty melancholy sometimes and start to daydream about death; how it’s not so bad in my opinion, how I’m truly not afraid of it and often prefer it over life sometimes, but I can only think this way since I believe life after this is only much, much better. Again, it’s weird.
Someone else’s death is such a weird experience for the living. It makes me think. It makes me feel a little dead inside myself. It makes me feel a little unworthy to be living at all.
I remember the time when my grandmas, the last two of the grands since both my grandpas already passed, died within the same week, on opposite ends of the world. My dad’s mom lived here in California, and my mom’s mom was in Indonesia. Grandma in Indo was really, really sick. Grandma in Cali was going into knee surgery, no big deal to her. Dad was in Africa. Mom, Sis, and I were here. Grandma in Indo lapsed into a coma, so Dad flew from Africa in the middle of his trip to go there, and Mom left here to go as well. While they were there, Grandma in Cali was out of surgery and was in a weird, silent, coma-like state, then died. Dad flew back from Indo to the U.S. to come back to his mom, and within a few days, Grandma in Indo died too.
Our already small family was now smaller, quieter, confused. There was no laughing for months, smiles reserved for concerned people who always asked the same questions, and those brief smiles would quickly fade back into straight, somber expressions.
Funerals, back to back, flying here then there, but grief was abundant in both ends of the world. We sort of joked that Grandma in Cali waited at the heavenly elevator for Grandma in Indo to come along, so they could go together, and reunite with their hubbies. It was a nice thought, for them, but for us, it was just… Sigh.
We all know better that their lives here were already completed, accomplished, finished, and they were in a healthier and happier state upstairs.
But I’ve still never seen the rest of my family, especially my dad, so, so sad. Worn out, tired, tired of death, tired of following it around, tired of having to watch it happen. He knows where they are, he knows they like it there, yet here, we’re all stuck in this mysterious anguish. We’re so sad that they’ve gone, but the place they’ve gone to is where they belong, their real home, the place they prefer, the better place.
We can’t be sad about that, right?
But we are. We still grieve. It takes a lot more strength to tell yourself to be happy because they’re happy now. It’s complicated.
I remember at my dad’s mom’s funeral, it was time to end and move the casket to the cemetery, and the workers asked for permission to shut the casket to go. My dad and his sister nodded, solemnly, hesitantly, not ready. As the lid came down over my grandma’s body, my dad suddenly ran to her, one last time, catching the workers by surprise and they looked down at the ground in sympathy, and my dad clutched onto the dead hand of his mother with both of his living hands, before losing her to the ground forever.
He wept; I watched from afar and I wept, seeing him sadder than I’ve ever seen, and thinking how much I will suffer when that will be me.
He finally tore away from her and held his hand to his mouth as he watched them slowly close the case. He closed his eyes. The casket was carried out of the church followed first by my dad, leading what was left of my family out the door, and we buried her, and it was over. It was sad. Yet we’re supposed to be happy.
I felt horrible when both my grandmas died, but I felt a little something different about my grandma that lived here. I was closer to her, literally, and we spent lots of time together when she was around. She was always spoiling me, teaching me things, protecting me, taking excellent care of me and yet I didn’t REALLY realize it. I hate that.
I never truly appreciated her for everything she did and even before she died, it was like she knew it was coming, she shared her whole story about how she got here in the U.S. and how she became who she was. I didn’t realize it was the last and most important thing she’d tell me before she’d leave, and I don’t remember the details because I wasn’t even paying full attention.
I don’t know how long I beat myself up for failing her so much when she was here but I know it wasn’t enough.
It’s funny how stupid we can be when we have exactly what we need. We just HAVE to wait for it to go away before smartening up.
I was thinking about something said in class about being tied to the railroad tracks and asking Mom and Dad to come help. I put myself in that situation and thought hard.
I don’t think I’d want my Mom and Dad to come help me; if the train was coming, the last thing I’d want is to have them die trying to help me, so I decided I would just stay silent, mostly because I’m a selfish person and can’t help the thought of watching my parents go, even though I’ll have to one day since I don’t know anyone who wants to tie me to a rail track.
Love is definitely at the heart of my fears, since my greatest real fears are seeing the people I love hurt or gone, or a new one, failing them. Loving does make one vulnerable, but it enables one to be stronger as well, it gives us something to live for, and so we’re not alone. And being left alone after everyone goes is something I fear very much.
Not only do you have great style and, well, spunk in your writing, but I just loved the way you started with one question and end wit the other, still answering both.
All of your essay are great reads, so thanks for the read yet again:D Kickin' rad essay!
Memories. That’s really all that’s left when we leave this earth. Once we’re gone we no longer have any control of what people think of us—that is, if they even think of us at all.
So what do we do then?
It’s simple really. You live your life now in a way that you would like to be remembered, because that, well, you do have control over.
Take advantage of this.
You don’t have to be some famous figure to make an impact on those around you. You don’t even have to be the smartest, most athletic, or finest looking person on this earth. And don’t even think about throwing age into this one! You are never too young to make a difference and leave your mark in this world. After all, age is but a number.
I once had a friend, a good friend, who had been diagnosed with cancer while she was only thirteen years young. It was all surreal really. I’ve never entertained the thought of someone getting cancer at such a young age—let alone someone I knew and was close to. Nobody deserves that. Especially not her.
One of the sweetest and nicest girls I have ever known to date, she never showed any signs of weakness in this rough time. She didn’t want you to pity her and feel bad for her. She had such great faith that everything was happening for a reason and that, in one way or another, this was all part of God’s plan for her.
She was able to walk again after her various surgeries—something doctors said she would probably never be able to do again. Not being able to play soccer or run track anymore, she decided to join the swim team. If that’s not persistence and determination at its best, I don’t know what is. She loved school and learning, working on assignments every chance she got—even skype-ing her into class occasionally. She wanted to graduate middle school on her own merits. Again, she was determined.
Watching her during this time was truly inspirational. She stayed positive the entire time. Her smile never faded. Her joy was contagious. She fought hard every single day.
This girl was so determined to beat the cancer.
...Unfortunately, the cancer got her after a well-fought two-year battle.
Let me tell you though, I have never been to a funeral and memorial service attended by so many people—and I’ve been to my share of funerals. In her short thirteen years she was able to impact thousands of lives in such a great and powerful way. She’s been gone for almost three years now and my memories of her are still so clear.
Are my memories of her accurate? I’d like to think so. They’re certainly not ones I’ve just made up. Are they more favorable than she deserves? Not according to me. Did she have flaws? Sure. She was human too, and humans are all flawed. But do I choose to remember her flaws? Of course not. Why choose to focus on the negative when you have positive things to reflect on?
You can argue that this is done out of pity or regret. You can say that this is simply out of respect for the deceased. There are lots of other reasons that I might choose to remember others in a positive way. When it comes down to it though, I think it’s one of those things where “you never really know what you got ‘till it’s gone” (Toby Mac). You start to miss these people and realize the footprints that they’ve left in your path. The good memories start to come back to mind, and maybe even bad ones—but those bring about sadness and regret, so you choose to focus on the good and let that overshadow all else.
I’ve often thought about the kind of person that I am and the kind of person that people perceive me to be. And to be honest, it’s a very complex idea to think about.
Everyone has different sides to them.
A person isn’t 100 percent good or 100 percent bad. What makes us who we are is much more complex than that, as stated in The Tipping Point. Given different circumstances, I think people choose to adapt accordingly to keep things in balance.
There is an appropriate time and place for everything.
However, I think for the most part, people are true to themselves at the basic fundamental level. Still though, the Michel that my teachers know is different from the Michel that my parents know, which is different from the Michel that my friends know, and list continues…
I obviously can’t control what people think of me, but as I mentioned above, I do have control over the way I choose to live my life. Sure, ideally I’d like to be remembered in a positive light. Here’s the catch though! If I just live my life in a positive way, then really, people wouldn’t have much of a choice other than to remember me that very way.
Now, that is a crazy thought. The legacy I leave is completely in my own hands.
So, I challenge you, and I challenge myself… Be you. Be your best self. Not some of the time, but all of the time—everything counts. Leave your mark in this world.
Make it a good one.
"Son fear is the heart of love" – Death Cab for Cutie
With love comes fear…
It was Christmas Day just a couple weeks ago. My sister was with our dad. It was just my momma and I. We were heading down the street to catch a movie. There wasn’t much for us to do but just hang out and relax. I drove, no surprise. Ever since I got my license last year and after she stopped freaking out every time I made a turn or changed lanes, she made me drive her everywhere. After sixteen years, it’s a bit of a change... her in the passenger seat kicking back and playing with her iphone while I drove. I really don’t mind. I love it.
My momma and I have a weird relationship. Most people wouldn’t see her as a typical mother figure. She was terrible at packing me lunch, getting me to school on time, and just doing things like combing my hair in the morning when I was younger. She worked a lot and to me, she was more of friend, not a mother. Growing up, it wasn’t all that fun because we were never on the same page. She just never had the patience for kids. She never knew how to discipline me and it was incredibly hard for her to understand me at times. Honestly, I often wondered why she even had my sister and I but there’s a reason and a purpose to everything in life and this is one that I’ll be forever grateful.
I’m not really sure when but things slowly turned around. I figured out why we suddenly seemed to click. I grew up. Don’t get me wrong, we did have good times together. We’d watch movies Friday nights together under the covers. Over the summer, we’d take road trips up north along the coasts. We’d also sometime decide to get into the car in our pajamas to pick up some ingredients to bake brownies and cookies in the middle of the night. Everything is the same but it’s just that now, I understand the type of person she is. I guess I could say that my perspective of life has changed a bit since I was in middle school and even since freshman year. Everything seems to fly by so fast… too fast for me to really recognize the changes, much less understand.
All I know is that she is the most independent person I know. It seems like nothing scares her; she’s fearless. I admire that characteristic about her so much. I just wish that I could be like that. I wish I wasn’t so afraid of life all the time but whatever courage I have within myself, it’s because of her. She keeps me going. She pushes me whenever I’m afraid to step up.
And so, when we pulled up to a red light and she said “Syd, what am I going to do when you leave in a few months,”
I didn’t know what to say. I knew that I’d have to leave at some point and it scares me to even think about going off to college, but I have always been the one afraid… afraid of letting go and afraid of moving forward, never the other way around.
Then she said “You’re my first born and the way I love you is different than the way I love Vanna. You’re my baby and you’ve been with me the most and through almost everything”
With love comes fear… but that only means that there’s something worth fighting for and holding on to.
I am a part of her and she is a part of me. Through all the good and the bad, it has always and will always be true.
“If you live to be 100, I hope to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you” – Winnie the Pooh
Hi Sydney! Props to you for being able to share such a sensitive and personal story. I love the relationship you have with your mother. And that last quote made me tear up! It concludes your post beautifully and wraps it up nicely. Thank you for the read!
“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” -C.S. Lewis
We see it all over the television, movies, newspapers, news, out in public, and even in our daily lives: arguments. Debates. Conflict. All resulting from a collision of contrasting opinions. Why all these differing opinions? Because no one was raised the same way, no two people talk to the exact same set of people on a daily basis, we get our news from a wide variety of sources; so many factors contribute to our perceptions on issues. So many things shape and influence the people we are today, creating 6 billion individual and unique minds with differentiating perspectives.
“Songs are as sad as the listener.” –Jonathan Safran Foer
With that being said, all things of the past, whether it be an event or a certain person, are defined by those that carry on their legacy. It could be someone who experienced the event or knew the person first-hand or it could be a piece of text documenting said event/person. We could never really know who a person truly is, only they do but once they are gone it doesn’t really matter anymore. Who that person was is how we perceived them. The time spent with the passed and the experiences and interactions gained shaped our very own definition of them, and now that they’re gone the only thing that matters is how we remember them for we are still living; we are their legacy and the ones who will pass on our own point of view of the deceased and thus, this is the person they become.
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” –Mitch Albom
Throughout my life, I have been fortunate enough to have not to have to deal with the loss of a loved one. But when the time comes, I am absolutely sure I will grieve. I will no longer be able to have a conversation with the person, see them smile, make them laugh, make more memories with them.
“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?” –Jodi Picoult
But I believe that after a while I would begin to realize that the moments and times I did have with them have not disappeared along with the person’s life, they still exist. Moments don’t cease to exist just because they’re merely part of the past, it still happened. I would feel blessed to have been able to create a relationship with them. Sure, now that they have passed I wouldn’t be able to experience anything more with them, but all good things must come to an end and we must be able to appreciate any precious moment shared with a deceased loved one. Whether it be a mother, sister, friend, teacher, or whoever, that title doesn’t get erased after their passing. The time spent with them is still alive and thriving, just in another time.
“People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.” -Marcel Proust
I’m outgoing and kind to almost everyone I meet not to build up a good “resume” for the afterlife, but just because I believe it’s the right thing to do. I don’t need a reason to do good and be nice. When I pass, I would like to be remembered for the way I actually was. If people remember me in some sort of an emphasized, idyllic, and modified way, then they wouldn’t be Josephine they are thinking of at all. It would be a distorted and altered version of me. I want to be remembered authentically based on raw memories and experiences because that’s the only way I know for sure that that is actually Josephine being thought of.
People say that a person dies twice; once when their body stops working, and lastly another when someone thinks of them for the last time. I think it would be nice to have that last thought to be genuine, not modified.
I looked to my left and right, and everyone was dressed in black and white.
Like at every huge family gathering, everyone greeted each other, except this time with small smiles and grief in their eyes.
During the service, I noticed people were sobbing and sniffling all around me. I felt like I was supposed to be crying, and I wasn't. I sat there thinking there was something wrong with me. I didn't stop to think that maybe it’s because I’m not as close to her as my other relatives are. I was too deep in thought it was already my turn to pay my respects to my aunt.
Right as I reached the casket, I burst into tears and couldn’t stop. I don’t know why I couldn’t stop. Maybe I was just caught up in the moment of it all. The few memories that I have of her flashed by and a feeling of regret hit me. I regret not spending as much time with her and getting to know her. I’m sad to say that I only remembered that she loves to golf.
Since life goes on no matter what, I want to learn from my regrets.
I am nowhere close to who I want to be to those around me, and I am almost certain I have already failed to meet their expectations. I want to be able to analyze the situation and say the right words at the right times—I want to be a person that others can look up to for help. I have failed to do so often, and insufficiently providing for the people around me, I acquired many losses. I felt I had already been enough, and looking at the past, I was no where close.
It was not a difficult experience to look back into the past, and to look at the situations in the present. But of course, like any other person would, looking at the losses stirred up grief. I do not think grief is an applicable measurement of strength or weakness, but rather, I think it is an indication of the importance of what was loss. I do not feel guilty about the missed opportunities, but rather I feel guilty about the mistakes I made personally to induce the loss. As time passes, the feeling of grief diminishes and I am able to reminisce and learn what I could have improved.
It might be considered self-indulging, but looking back at the memories is what causes the feeling of grief. Similar to what Zemeckis and Gaiman say, I do agree that we tend to remember figures from our past more favorably than reality. Memories fade and blur over time, small details are rewritten, and I think that looking back at favorable situations from previous losses, a feeling of nostalgia affects us to look at what happened more positive than actuality.
Although I remember them as a great figure and important influence to the person I am today, I am not quite sure how they think of me. I don’t want people to ignore my faults and only remember me as I am at my best, but rather, I would like for them to remember me at my worst. I want them to see the mistakes I have made, the slumps I have experienced, and know that I am alive and make mistakes like any other. I hope they would accept my wishes and remember me for who I am, in order to see me overcome all obstacles at my “best”.
Addressing the final question, I am quite afraid of losing those that I love, more so than they are losing me. Already lost many, I agree with the Death Cab song “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” that fear lies within the possibility of losses, and love became the center of my fears. To me, love not only gives me strength to overcome these fears, but they also leave me vulnerable to losses. To be vulnerable, is to love, but vulnerability is not a negative connotation for love; instead, it leaves room for trust to develop and grow. Although love is at the center of my fears, it is also at the center of my happiness.
I feel that is natural for anyone to mourn for their loss and to grieve about. If people didn’t feel sad about their losses it makes them emotionless. Some people can hide it better than others but everybody has grief for those that they have loss. People aren’t weak for showing sadness about loss and people aren’t necessarily strong for not grieving. Everybody has different ways to cope with their pain and some are more open about it than others. For others they find it easier to close themselves off. Either way a person chooses to handle loss it doesn’t make the stronger or weaker than another.
People should feel sad when they lose someone they care about. If someone does not feel sad when they lose someone then they really never cared about that person. If someone truly cared about another person and they lost that person they should feel sad. At the same time though they should remember all of the happy times they spent together. Losing them shouldn’t only bring sadness but a little bit of happiness by remembering moments that you spent with them.
You should remember the people you have loss by the happiest moments that you spent with them not the sad. Losing them has already brought sadness so you should remember the bad moments because it will only make the sadness worse. Remember the moments that were most important to you and forget the ones that brought pain. Don’t ruin your memory of loved ones with hate. Someone should not be remembered for the things they did wrong but for the things they did that made you smile.
People are hidden behind many masks.
Or to be straightforward, I have multiple personalities behind the same face. It is not like the Multiple Personality Disorder. These faces go without a cure. It is just simply, there.
“Quite honestly, I thought you were this quiet kid that I couldn’t get to know. Man, you sure proved me wrong.”
It’s the first impressions that people remember most.
The first impressions made to a person, whether one is loud, shy, or aggressive, definitely show the type of person he or she is. As a shy person, I, too, undergo its negativities of being reserved; I take the bullet of not opening myself to people I don’t know. However, once I get to know someone better, I start developing different personalities around him because I am in my “comfort zone”, I become more open, crazy, talkative, and wild. Different personalities are built for different places, situations, and people.
Importantly, we want to leave a good impression for people to remember us positively. It goes without say, even during death we’d like the people closest to us to remember those good memories.
It’s the last impressions that people remember most.
Just as our mothers have given birth to us, we too have our endings.
Funerals. Even in our own, we want people to share their good memories of us with others. I would want to be thought of someone who did the most she could do with life.
People depart life in various ways, but they share something in common. They have already left what was once theirs.
I miss. I wish. I regret.
There are always those moments where I take a step back and wonder why I have not done what I should have when they were still alive. Why had I not hugged him longer? Why had I not spent more time with him? There are just to many unanswered why’s.
Having gone through several funerals, my reactions had varied throughout; each containing its own mixed feeling. It is during that moment where I recall those memories, or at least I try to remember the best ones. As for others, it is hard to recall anything, but at the same time it is hard to not feel heartbroken.
Our past experiences with those around us seem like a book of faded memories, memories that cannot be forgotten.
Life. It just seems all too fast.
When my time comes/
Forget the wrong that I've done/
Help me leave behind some/
Reasons to be missed/
Don't resent me/
And when you're feeling empty/
Keep me in your memory/
Leave out all the rest
Something that’s always bounced around in my conscious thought is the question as to why we generally tend to want to be remembered in a positive light; the question of why we want to be remembered at all. There’s certainly something to be said about living so well that people remember your contributions long past your expiration date. But asking for your sins or wrongdoings or whatever to be forgiven - asking people to remember you for your good, or hoping/assuming that they’ll do - so seems like a silly thing to get caught up in. And asking to be remembered as you were seems just as pointless.
There’s nothing wrong with hoping to be remembered, of course. When my time comes, I’ll undoubtedly hope that my accomplishments will be significant enough to propel my lineage further in life. But hoping to be remembered and trying to make people remember you are two different things. And when it comes to the latter, I have to wonder…why? Once we’re gone, we’re gone. Regardless as to whether you believe in a divine beyond, or believe that life simply ends, you can’t really prosper off what you leave behind - you’ve left it behind. Why bother to care?
The idea or want for legacy has, in many ways, corrupted the world. Let’s look to our literature first. Macbeth. The guy wanted a legacy - he wanted to be remembered. I can’t imagine why, because again, he would never be able to take it with him. But he wanted it nonetheless. And what happened as a result? He brought an entire country down.
For those who find Macbeth to be a bit of stretch, let’s turn away from our readings, and talk about something concrete. Terry Nichols, responsible for the Oklahoma City Bombing that killed 168 people (and injured 800 more) wanted a legacy too. As he sat in a cell on death row, waiting to be executed, a reporter had the rare opportunity to ask him why he’d done it. And ultimately, what it came down to, Nichols said, was that the world would never be able to forget him. Even in the death, he would live on. On the matter he said “US - 1, McVeigh - 168.”
So obviously wanting to be remembered can have its fair share of negative consequences. And when we look at the list of positive results…. There are none. The positive actions that make people remember you will surely have a positive impact, but being remembered positively really won’t - it can’t.
When it comes down to it, I don’t really care if I’m remembered or not. I’d certainly like to know that I’d made enough of a difference to remembered, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't think it really matters.
"Leave Out All The Rest," Linkin Park, Minutes to Midnight
I started this blog yesterday but was bogged down, mired. I had no idea whatsoever. Was I to evoke an ancient memory, dormant in my memory pool’s backlog? Was I to construct an entertaining tale, concentrating its morals to the blog’s questions? Or was I to scrawl out some guff, pouring my heart into a non-serious, bridge-hugging post? The ol’ Creativity Well™ had run dry.
“Welp, welp, welp,” I yelp to myself. “There isn’t working out for me, so I mind as well go pee pee.” It’s a terrible habit of mine to spout out some random drivel such as this. But like an act of desperation, I hold my breath and hope that this drop of spittle will flood the writing banks.
And when it does, the river will flow.
Then like a gushing torrent, realization drenches me over the head and I rub my eyes awake.
“A river! A bloody river! Wait, I mean a normal river, not some gory horror backdrop. Wait yet again, as it’s not supposed to be some plain old river, but the river of life! The flow of the universe! Eureka!” I digress into soliloquy atop the toilet seat, making my parents worry over my restroom roaring.
Everything is as clear as clean fresh water.
“I am to venture forth streamside and look into the river! There, I will find my inspiration, my knowledge. Siddhartha did it, so why can’t I?”
So I head over to the blog and reread my old blog-entries (and other students’ that I’ve really liked). I reread the blogs and the blessed water has bestowed onto me a most gracious gift: impetus!
“But what do I know, I’m still a teenager.”
“It would be a world of understanding, and a world of empathy.”
“…that tree comes to mind, steadfast with its roots planted in the ground.”
“'Man, this is depressing.'”
“This, oh this, is cheesy [obscenity that starts with a b].”
“Look up into the sky, expand your horizons, but focus on your star. Don’t look at down; you’ll stay stuck on the ground.”
“This is what evil really is. Maybe it’s time to change.”
“In Infinity Ward's 2011 first-person shooter, Call of Duty: Modern Waface 3, a person is a handsome action hero. The person is a pretty cool guy who shoots people and doesn't afraid of everything.”
“I am young, and there is still time to experiment.”
“You thought about giving up, ending this horrific nightmare with a bullet to the brain.”
“And it's a disgusting screech.”
I’ve taken quotes from my previous blog entries and pasted them above, just to see what it would look like. At first glance, this series of lines seem to make no sense. At second glance, it still makes no sense. And if read aloud, it sounds more and more like a schizophrenic’s rumination. The topic is constantly shifting, unstable and shivering like a madman.
But it isn’t shivering; rather, it is shimmering. Like the water’s glowing surface, these quotes dance around and change their ideas. Waves are of different size, but all of them make up the river. Things that happen in life are unique and different, but all of them make up memories. The longer the life, the more memories there will be. The mind’s river will constantly flow, memories swishing by. But the design is more of a circuit, as the past will come back if you search for it, a former clarity. Then all that’s left to do is expand.
And remember that the water’s surface reflects whatever shines on it. In the heavens, stars twinkle, and they change shapes. As the shape changes, so too does the image in the river. When you shift your priorities, the way you look at the past, preset, and future is different. As Mr. Feraco explained it, good and bad is relative to your morals, and your morals are formed by your goals.
But I don’t care about “badness” or “goodness”, because it constantly changes.
I’d like to think that I’ve grown since the beginning of the semester (Non Est Ad Astra Mollis e Terris Via anyone?) for the better or for worse. I’m no longer a completely cynical Caulfield-like teen full of angst. I tried moving on from my past, to stop looking down and to look up. But most of all, I moved forward. I did not let the river stagnant and fester. There was progress and there was change.
The blog, the river, has been changing as well. I was fishing through the older ones,’08, ’09 ’10, and almost all the students aim for the minimum, 2 paragraphs that are seven sentences long, where as ours would be an endlessly long. But then I noticed that there were more extension comments than in our blog. The older generation also used ASCII art for Pete’s sake. When placed side by side, the blogs seem to be different types altogether; there is that much change.
Mainly, it’s about the flow. In Beowulf, a good king will constantly redistribute the treasure rather than hoard it. This separates the healthy nations from the weak ones. So, when looking at the past, do not be consumed by it. Merely glance over it and revel in the steps you have taken and the progress you continue to make. Don’t let the river stagnant or it will fester; keep the current strong.
What?! I wrote my perception on what defines us and how our legacy is left behind. Yes I did not really elaborate on myself as an example becuase I wanted to write on a pyschological point of view like I always have been. Its my style of writing. NO I did not BS it! Not all readers are the same person as you if you have a different perspective then thats you. I appreciate your criticism by the way.
“Do you build different faces for different places, different sides for different situations, and different people for different people?”
Honestly I think we all do. Some of you may be thinking “No I am real 100% of the time.”
You lying fiend!
No just kidding I just wanted to catch your attention. Now that I have I need to tell you, the people who are always themselves, that You. Are. Not.
Let us be honest right now. We have four different faces. Four different personalites.
We have the “Family Face.” This is the mask you put on when you’re around your parents. You are the behaved child. You give away no signs of a party hard teenager or something of the sort. To them, they see their good child. You show more heart with this mask. These people have known you your whole life. You’re different with them.
The second face would be the “Stranger Face.” This is the mask for people you are just meeting. Say for an interview. You wouldn’t act like the normal crazy you. You act like a professional person. In fact you go to certain lengths to make sure people you just meet get the right first impression of you. Whether it be the way you dress, talk, or even laugh, you aren’t comfortable with strangers so you put on this mask. Why? You’re different with them.
The next face is the “Friend Face.” You use this mask when you’re around people you are comfortable with. People you trust. You don’t call them friends for the heck of it. You go to parties, laugh out loud, have inside jokes, have moments you won’t remember, and you make the best memories with this mask. You’re different with them too.
The last but not least face is the “Hell yeah I’m alone in the comfort of my house face.” This mask is my absolute favorite. This is where you are home alone and you just let loose. This is where the real you comes out. Though some argue that the real them comes out when they’re with their closest friends or family, but realistically I know there is at least three things you would only do alone. Dance like no one is watching with a tie tied to your head in a pair of boxers and a polo shirt on. Sing at the top of your lungs. Pick your nose. Sniff your big toe. You are you.
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