On New Year’s Day, Remember the Dead

Soren Kierkegaard said, Life must be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards. So it is that as we leave one year behind and embark upon yet another.

On this day we remember our dead, those who have gone before us, those who have helped mold our lives into who we are today. We honor them with our memory; we immortalize them in the way we lead our own lives.

Because we have been touched by them they are immortal. Now we extend that immortality as influence the lives of others. We are part of a chain of humanity reaching into the distant past and extending into the unknowable future.

All of us are touched by loss. We face tomorrow with hope made stronger by having learned lessons from what we no longer have. For in those losses were also loves and in the end love is stronger than death. Even though our loved ones are gone, they are with us still, moving us to live as, in their higher moments, they themselves wished to live. We remember them now; they live on in our deeds.


One of the lessons of loss is that the gift we have been given – life – is precious and fragile. We never know when what we love will no longer be with us. Our parents grow old and die, but all of us, whatever our age, can only be sure that we have this moment, this time, this now. Therefore, we must live our lives as though the present is all the time we have on this earth to share with our loved ones. So that if tomorrow are loved ones are gone, we will we have no regrets, there will be nothing left undone, unsaid.

This is a moment to reflect upon how we may live our lives so that there will be few regrets, missed moments. Now is the time to ask for forgiveness for the wrongs we have done; now is the time to express our gratitude.




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