Monday, June 14, 2010

Thirteen Reasons Why

My eight year old nephew and namesake passed away, and I spent this past weekend in Boston for the funeral. It's only the fourth funeral that I've attended, and the first one that I've been asked to speak at.

While Benjamin died peacefully in his sleep, his body tired from the wearing handicaps he had been born with, it was still a stark reminder of the fragility of life.

I did not purposefully time the reading of Jay's first novel, Thirteen Reasons Whywith the events of this past weekend, but I'm glad it worked out that way. Jay's haunting story ends with hope and a desire to be the type of person who would be celebrated rather than grieved at their passing. Life is a gift, and Benjamin's short life was a blessing to many--more than 500 people who showed up to say, "Thank you." 

This is a book I will ask my kids to read before they start high school, to realize how everything we do impacts someone, even if only ourselves. But most likely--always--there are others that we don't know about. Aren't we lucky that we get to choose how?