No Man Is An Island

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

Death is inevitable. It’s something we must learn to accept and acknowledge, for we have no other choice but to do so. It’s a natural part of life, unfortunately… but we’ll get over it. We have no other choice.

“Never underestimate the power of letting go. Likewise, never forget the price of holding on too long.”

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But being taken away at the age of 16 is a different story. We often ignore the fact that death is something we can’t control. It’s something unpredictable. That’s the thing, Death doesn’t give you an option… and it’s not fair. It was on a Thursday afternoon when I heard about the accident. I was casually walking to my lockers with a friend when she brought up the topic of Sean Severson, a student in my grade who was a victim of the accident. I was unsure of what to believe, since the news of the incident was not yet brought up by my teachers or peers. I thought it was just another minor accident and assumed Sean would be okay the next day… I was wrong. At the time, I didn’t pay much attention to the news of the accident because first, I didn’t know the student and second, I was too busy thinking of World War I and reviewing terms for my huge history test.

That’s the problem with us. We’re too involved in our lives to even bother thinking about others. I was so caught up in the moment that I failed to recognize that a student from MY high school, regardless of his name or background or whatever classes he took, was in the hospital struggling to stay alive. Upon hearing Sean’s death the next morning, I was beyond shocked. I truly had underestimated what really happened.

Sean was like any other student at the school. He had big plans in mind for the future. Sean went to school to help prepare himself for what was next on his big “life agenda.” He was taught by his English teacher how to write essays for college. What classes he should have signed up for in order to graduate and make his parents proud? What life goal and career choices did he have in mind? and at school… “What video games should I play when I get home?” Little did he know, Sean would be sent to the hospital that very morning only to find his family crowded around him praying for him to wake up. They were praying that he would survive the night and live on to see the next morning. His future and career/college plans were the last thing they thought of. At that moment, what was it important was his existence and well being.

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As depressing as it sounds, I feel this incident has enabled us to recognize that life is precious. Not something to be taken for granted. Life is about living in the present and capturing the happy moments. Accepting the sad moments and acknowledging them. Although I didn’t know Sean, I felt as if a part of the school is missing on Monday morning. We all had our heads stooped low, thinking of Sean and wondering if he was smiling down on us. It wasn’t just his close group of friends who were mourning over his death, but the rest of the school as well. It was the day we learned how to be a community and support each other in rough times.

For, “every death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”

Rest in paradise, Sean. We miss you.

–Michelle

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One thought on “No Man Is An Island

  1. You are absolutely right in saying that every death diminishes. We may not all be the same, or be thinking alike, or know that we are connected all the time. But when someone we collectively are familiar with, or know, passes away, we all do feel it. Thank you for sharing your feelings here in this post.
    And if you ever need an open ear, I am willing.
    Write on, my friend~

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