The Fragility of Life

Life is delicate. Life is a gift that can be taken in an instant. I know these things because I experienced them when I was younger and I’m still experiencing them today.

I learned how fragile life is late last year when, not one, but two of my aunts were diagnosed with cancer. I asked the usual questions of why them and why my family. Both my aunts are in the mid-60s so it feels like they are being robbed of the latter part of their life. And I knew that they had a long road with their treatment.

Neither aunts’ prognosis is very good, however, true to form, neither one of them complain much either. Both are strong and strong-willed. However, despite their positivity, neither one has very good prospects at beating their respective cancers.

My point in sharing my family’s current battles with cancer is to demonstrate how extremely fragile life is. When I close my eyes, I can see both my aunts in the prime of their lives having fun and enjoying life. Now, each day they live is truly a gift, but it brings its own set of problems and hurdles to overcome with their individual treatments.

The reason I wanted to share my family’s current struggle is because I know that all of you have your own struggles. No one in life is immune from suffering. In fact, the Buddha believed that all life is suffering. Helen Keller said, “All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” But what comes from this suffering? I believe that through suffering comes knowledge, love, and appreciation for life. When we surrender to the suffering, we begin to experience all kinds of different sensations – love, serenity, and the ability to let go, no matter how difficult.

I’m not sure how this works. This is tough and never easy. I can only say that surrendering or nonattachment can end suffering. My problem lies in the fact that I’m not ready to lose either aunt so I remain attached to them and my suffering continues. Someday, I’m sure that I will grow to accept their fate. But that day isn’t today.

This article is written to discuss how fragile life is. We can take nothing for granted. All life is delicate and can end just as quickly as it began. Each day is a gift. Treasure it. Make each day count for yourself and for others because you never know what fate has in store.

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