It’s both ironic and extremely sad, how when investigators and family were asking students at Forest Hill Collegiate for anyone who had spoken to Mariam Makhniashvili to come forward, not one person put up their hand or came forward afterward. Not one person had spoken to the girl in the four days that she’d attended the school.
Yet, during her funeral, there sat students and staff members, as mourners, giving pleasant thoughts about her.
Where were they all during Mariam’s four short days at the school? How is it that no one took the time to even introduce themselves to Mariam and ask her name or, even try to communicate with her as a new student to the school or class? What would it have taken or, how much effort would it have taken, to have made a simple, friendly gesture that only involved having to step outside of themselves and their peer groups and clicks to have spoken to Mariam?
Unfortunately, the students at Forest Hill Collegiate are not a case to be singled out.
It boggles my mind how many of us go through life and never feel that we’re appreciated by many people around us. Yet, were we to be able to attend our own funerals, we’d likely hear a lot of nice things about ourselves, coming from people’s mouths who never bothered much with us during our lifetimes.
Are we hypocrites or, do we simply not think to let people know what we feel about them while we can or make some sort of effort to be friendly or nice to others around us while alive?
Does Death cause us to be kinder or, are we phonies as a whole?
What does it take to make a simple gesture towards someone…especially, someone we care about? How many times have we by-passed the phone in making a quick call to say, “I care and am thinking of you”? How many of us have never walked across a lawn or a street to have welcomed a newcomer to the neighbourhood? How many times have we gone out, gotten into our cars and ignored neighbours without so much as a wave and a “good morning” gesture?
Worst of all, is that we have people in our lives who don’t truly know what we think about them. We have family members and friends who don’t know how much they mean to us because we don’t express it often, if at all.
Yet, when these people pass away in death, we’ll attend their funerals, shed tears and express how wonderful a person they were to everyone else around us. The only person who never heard those words and facts was the person who passed on.
Mariam’s story and short life has brought the point forward in my life that there is no use in waiting until someone is missing or dead to get to know someone or to say kind words about them to someone else. We need to be doing these things all along and throughout our lives with other people.
I will tell my friends how much their frienship means to me. I will let my family members know how wonderful I think that they are and how much they mean to my life. I will greet newcomers to the neighbourhood or work place, knowing that they need a friend or just someone to help them feel part of an unfamiliar place. I will be kinder in general and more forthright with kind thoughts being expressed to others while they are alive, rather than at their funerals.
Take a moment today and let someone you love, know how special they are to you. Extend your hand in welcome to someone who is new to your neighbourhood or work place. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Think how much you’ve let go and not spoken to someone you truly care about and wonder what you would say if it were their last day. Whatever that may be, say it. We never know when it is our last day here.
We all need to know that we’re important in some way or another while alive.