R.I.P. Aaliyah…

I turned on the tv this morning and was reminded that Aaliyah died today eight years ago. She was the first person I truly didn’t know whose death made me cry like she was a family member. She was simply a celebrity I liked, but when she died it felt like I had lost a friend. It’s funny how these days I feel like I know celebrities because of shows and blogs, but I don’t they are strangers. For example, I saw Suchita Vadlamani and I kept thinking this woman looks familiar I know I know her from somewhere. So I said “Hello, how are you? ” Thinking since I know I know this woman she will recognize me and remind me of how we know each other. She was very gracious and said hello very pleasantly, but the look in her eye was not one of recognition. Then I realized omg I don’t KNOW this woman I’ve only seen her on tv.

But back to Aaliyah, I remember playing At your Best you are Love over and over…which is still one of my favorite songs of all time. One of my childhood friends was at my house and she kept trying to put in Aaliyah’s second cd, but I was adamant that we listen to that one song. I even told her if she wanted to listen to something else she needed to go back to her house. She backed off. After that we both sat on the floor listening to that song on repeat. Her voice in that song was just so soothing to me after hearing that she had passed. She was someone I wanted to meet. I even thought we would be friends. She seemed cool, sweet and a fun to be around. It hurt my heart that she was gone.

I believe it’s always harder to deal with the death of someone young, as opposed to older people who have had an opportunity to lead a full life. When people die unexpectedly and in her case tragically in a plane crash, it’s crushing. At least when someone is sick you deal with the possibility of death and it gives you an opportunity to prepare yourself for what may be the inevitable. 

I think the lesson for me today is that you never know when it’s your time to go. So whatever it is that I want to do or want to get I need to go get it period. I’m constantly having conversations with people about their lives and what they can do to improve, but what am I doing to improve myself? I need to stay in my lane, focus on my goals and be the best me I can possibly be because even if I don’t die tomorrow a lifetime goes by in a flash. My current situation has certainly taught me how to deal with stress on a whole different level. I don’t worry about things the way I did in the past, but maybe I need to bring back the sense of urgency that worry does produce. Today I realized I have nothing to show for the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years I’ve been here. I need to get busy, urgently. I’m also always reminding friends that time is valuable. Moments are precious. Turn off the tv, put down the cell, edit the email later and enjoy life right here and right now. I say this, but I don’t heed it. Today I will take my own advice because life certainly isn’t permanent.

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