If you haven’t already, you will at some point in your life experience the incredible despair of carelessly placing an egg on a table…only to have it roll off the edge and fall to its death. Not only is it a pain to clean up, it’s a complete waste. Such a pity, really. That egg could have been poached for eggs benedict or whipped into the heavenly batter of chocolate chip cookie dough. And of course, let’s not forget the possibility of it feeding a hungry, underprivileged child. But you just wasted it.
Okay, so maybe not everyone gets as upset as I do when eggs fall on the floor (i.e, people who like to “egg” cars and houses…tsk). The first time it ever happened to me, it was a double whammy–there were two eggs, and I stood there in shock for a pretty long time. When that happens, you think things like “why didn’t I put it in a safer place?” or “why did I take them out in the first place?” and you brood for a few minutes. But of course, your regret doesn’t matter, because the eggs are dead anyway.
Maybe it’s because I love food so much (and I don’t work in a restaurant or anything, where massive amounts of food are wasted everyday), but it’s almost frightening thinking about how helpless I feel when eggs fall on the floor. It’s definitely extreme to say this, but it’s almost like watching a friend go–and you can’t do anything about it. That is not to say that the death of a loved one, or even a distant companion, is even comparable to the wasting of a mere egg. But while the level of emotion is completely different, the sentiments may actually be somewhat similar in nature.
Though it may still be a delicate time to do so, let’s consider recent events. The very sudden and tragic deaths of both Nelson Mandela and Paul Walker in these past two weeks has had the global population in mourning–we can only hope that if their deaths were not at least peaceful, they happened as fast as an egg can be dropped.
My sister has a friend who was, apparently, a close companion of Paul Walker’s. In fact, they were together at the same fundraising event right before the incident. Just think–you see the smiling, radiant face of Paul Walker as he drives off in a beautiful new Porsche–only to find out about the horrific crash a few minutes later. At that point, it’s only natural to be in shock, to overflow with emotion. You start to go crazy–what just happened? Is this real? You might even regret that the last thing you said or did with him was not everything you could have given him. You wish you had given him one last hug, one last handshake. If only you had known! Would you have done something about it?
The very sad truth is, we don’t have the ability to do anything about such things. It’s not about being careless–you turn your head around for a second, and the egg falls to the floor. As much as some of us might wish there was, there is no exact way to predict death. That leaves us with our own emotions. What do we do with them? Our first instinct might be to wallow in regret, in grief, in sorrow. And that’s okay.
But we can only do that for so long, and at some point we need to pick up the pieces and pull ourselves together. While you may regret that the last thing you said to someone before they passed was not the best thing you could have said, those aren’t the types of things you should remember; chances are, your connection was much more than that. Remember the good things–the yolk, the heart and soul of your relationship–the things you did and said that did matter, and that you meant. Remember the impact they left on you, the (maybe) dents and remnants of the egg shell on your floor. These people haven’t truly left you, so don’t erase everything they did with your regret; they wouldn’t want your memories of them to be filled with grief.
Your love, I think, is enough.
So rather than stare at the remains of egg spread across your floor, pick them up. Don’t tear yourself up; just remember that the most precious aspects live on through the dozens of other eggs sitting in your refrigerator. Those are the things you should keep with you.