Recently a co-worker of mine passed away. While we did not work side by side, her job allowed for some interaction with my position. She was always a pleasant enough person and I liked her. For us at work her death was sudden and unexpected, I cannot speculate if her family knew of her pending demise. I arrived at work one Friday to hear that she had passed that Wednesday and there would be a memorial for her at work on Saturday.
I did not attend her memorial, but rather chose to watch the dorm and allow other co-workers to attend with the residents that wanted to go. Afterwards I listened as others spoke of her and as days passed I noticed a sad fact of life. It did not change significantly for most everyone there. I can assume life changed for her family, but for apparently everyone else it just went on. It took maybe three days for people to stop even mentioning her passing.
The sad realization is that, while we may want or envision crowds of mourners wailing, keening, and sobbing; forever saddened by our passing, very few will most likely be affected by our death. They may say, it wasn’t his time, he was taken too early, or she will be missed, but very little will change in any measurable way. We are transient beings destined to die from the moment of birth, filling the time between with paying bills and worrying what someone else may think of us.
When my time comes to shuffle off this mortal coil I now know that those closest to me will mourn, working through those five steps in their own time and manner, but the rest of the world will barely notice my absence. That realization helps me put in perspective whom I should be concerned with while I am still among the living.