Two weeks ago, during the Oscars ceremony, Viola Davis said this in her acceptance speech: "There's one place where the people with the greatest potential are gathered. And that's the graveyard."
That hit me like a punch to the chest. Indeed, one of the most difficult things about the death of a relatively young person is the lost opportunity to witness that person's true, full potential. This is certainly the case with my darling younger brother--he had so much left to achieve, to prove, to offer the world. He had so much he wanted to show all of us. Sadly, the same is true of my husband, Jason, and countless other young lives lost. What could they have accomplished given more time? What could they have contributed to the world?
Amir and Jason were both extremely gifted writers. Jason embraced the opportunity to study creative writing at NYU, where he excelled as a standout in his program. He wrote beautiful poems, plays and prose. Amir spent years jotting his clever thoughts in notebooks, always dreaming of writing professionally but never gaining the confidence to pursue it in spite of my encouragement. Both Amir and Jason wrote hilariously witty letters and emails, piles of which I have saved in boxes and will cherish for the rest of my life.
But, apart from the love and wisdom they imparted to friends and family and the many laughs they gave us, what undiscovered potential did they take with them when they died? We will never know, a fact that I find incredibly difficult to process and accept.
More on this later...