The Fading Tapestry of a Life Once Lived
On September 30, it will be ten years since you died. Ten years isn’t very long in the grand scheme of things. But considering you died at the tender age of four, it feels like so much more.
Memories of you have already begun to fade. Evidence of your very existence is far and few between. Clothes you wore, things you cherished, and art you created all fit into a few small bins. Bins that have long since been packed away with the rest of the things we rarely use. A few cherished items and photos of you are left out to admire.
But outside of our home—and outside of our hearts and minds—your short life went by unnoticed. Unknown to the world except by the few who knew you during those four short years, and whose hearts you indelibly touched.
Recently, we traveled abroad and visited cities that are centuries or millennia old. We explored ancient ruins that were abandoned long ago by the march of progress. Ruins that were literally buried under countless layers of dirt and modern adaptation. Fragile artifacts have to be painstakingly unearthed and preserved. Each one a small clue of lives that have long been forgotten.
Archeologists are left to look at impossibly small fragments of what once was. They merely guess at the most rudimentary details of people who were once so important to their family and friends. Without much to go on, they can never hope to know these people beyond their age, sex, status in society, and maybe a few more inconsequential facts. They’ll never uncover the beauty these people brought into the hearts and lives of those who loved them.
And when our lives come to an end, what then? When our belongings are rummaged through after we are dead and gone, what will they piece together about your life—so spirited and vibrant—that ended so long ago?
What will a box of favorite outfits, a few pairs of shoes, costumes, and other small trinkets tell them about you? Could these things ever convey your sense of humor and adventure? Will they tell of your guarded shyness around strangers, yet decisive bossiness at home? Could anyone who never met you begin to use these excavated objects as evidence of the depth and boundless imagination that vividly colored the world we shared together?
We’ve tried to write down memories of you, but they can’t ever fully convey the rich tapestry of your brief life.
Memories only highlight fragments of who you were and the impact you had on those who loved you. They lack depth and detail of your complex, unique being.
Over a decade since your death, the brightly colored threads which had weaved together to form the story of your life have significantly faded and worn. And they’ll continue to do so as time ticks by.
While your family lovingly cares for your tapestry in our hearts and thoughts, we cannot stop or slow the continual damage caused by the passing of time. Each birthday and anniversary of your death serves as a harsh, sobering reminder of this reality.
No matter how faded or damaged your life’s tapestry becomes, you are a vibrant, brilliant part of our life tapestries. This is the one thing that will withstand the test of time. For the rest of our lives, you remain a constant presence; a beacon of love and a guiding light of purpose.