Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Power of Imagination

There is nothing so painful, as far as my opinion is concerned, than a life never lived... an opportunity missed... a moment lost... The imagination of the human mind is so powerful, so convincing, that dreams can become reality, thought rather unreal and wishes seem to come true... yet only within the confines of one's mind. Were you ever presented with a chance, an opportunity and for hours you would think about it, create its setting and events in your head, painting a detailed, perfect picture of the outcome you wanted? But then... somehow, it became lost. Rather by circumstance and sabatoge or simply, it was never meant to be.. and suddenly, that picture that was so close in our mind, seems so far off, yet so tangible, that we chase after it, desperate for it be fulfilled. It feels so real. It is so real! The things we imagine, the things we want have the ability to "become" real in our minds! How can the transparent, slippery and elusive dreams we have come true? How can we turn our imagination, our hopes for a certain outcome into actuality?
Sometimes, sad as it is, this can never be...
Last week, a boy I knew was tragically killed in a car accident. Upon hearing the news, so sudden and so shocking, I burst into tears. There was  this profound knife shoved into my heart, and I felt too weak, too incapable to remove it. I didn't know him well. We spoke briefly one day during the summer, but it was those few moments that had an impact on me. It was after a long, tiring week and I was feeling empty, both physically and emotionally, and this boy, with just a few words, managed to bring a smile to my face. And I remembered. When I heard of his tragic petira I was suddenly confronted with the scenario above... the wishes and dreams that his parents had for him... the hopes and opportunities that he thought he would have... cruelly torn away. And I sat, tears streaming down my face, thinking of the life he will never have. He was 22... almost, or already dating. He won't marry... he won't have children... His parents won't reap anymore nachas from their precious son. And suddenly, our imagination paints the clearest picture in our mind of a future that will never be.
In life, the events that precede someone's passing often affect how we will feel after the person passes away. Someone who is sick for a while, we are almost grateful when they pass on- they aren't in pain anymore. Someone is older, we feel fulfilled- they lived a long life. A child, there usually is no relief... when they are sick, again, there is that small ounce of gratefulness... a parent  no longer has to watch their child suffer... but an accident, so sudden, unexpected, no time to prepare... well, there is no goodness in that... not even the smallest amount.
I have few words for this boy's parents- I cannot imagine their pain. The only thing I can wish for is that in time, and with time, they will find some nechama in this sad situation. Their son was truly a special person. He was a pursuer of chesed and embodied simchas hachaim. His loss will leave a void in my life... and the lives of those who were privileged to know him.
I hope that whatever insight and inspiration readers may gain from this blog, will be an aliyah for his neshama... If you smile when you read something, or gain a new understanding that can bring you closer to Hashem, that will reflect and carry on the life he led.
L'ilui nishmas Shimon Yosef ben Daniel

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