This is an American holiday, honoring the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military. Most of us know it as an extended weekend filled with camping, BBQ’s and hanging out with friends. But, in the true sense of the holiday, what does it mean to honor someone that has passed?
This could mean a lot of things to many different people. Some may visit a grave site, listen to a special song, look at old photographs, have a toast, light a candle, or read an old letter. There is no right or wrong way to honor someone or grieve their loss. But first to honor someone, we must talk about the uncomfortable part, death.
The topic of death here in America is such a hush, hush topic of conversation. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except for death and taxes.” And he is absolutely right, no one on this Earth will avoid dying, we are born into this world with many choices, but this is not one of them. So, if we all face the same end, why doesn’t anyone talk about it? Because most people are scared. Scared of the unknown, being alone, pain, you name it.
Discussing death does not have to be a morbid conversation. Talking with your friends and family about end of life wishes is not creepy, but smart. No one wants to be left in an emergency situation, making decisions for a loved one when you have no idea what they want. Having these discussions, talking about fears around death are all very healthy. In most instances it relieves many people’s fears around the subject.
So, as we head into the weekend honoring those that have passed on and those that lost their lives protecting our country, allow yourself to really think about what it is to honor someone. And also, how to honor yourself and your loved ones with being able to talk about your wishes and concerns around the topic of death. Supporting each other through loss and the unknown will help bring us closer.
Honoring those that gave their lives to protect and support our country, we salut you!