Untimely reminder

Courtesy Photo/ facebook.com
Shane Welch

Courtesy Photo/ facebook.com Shane Welch

A 21-year-old junior majoring in public administration, Shane Peoples-Welch died Tuesday night after collapsing during a break from a pick-up game of basketball in the GVSU Recreation Center. He complained of having chest pains before exiting the court, fainted during his break and died shortly thereafter. No one could have seen it coming, not even Shane Peoples-Welch himself.

Thankfully, it’s not often that we hear about someone dying at GVSU, but that rarity makes Shane Peoples-Welch’s death a bigger blow. His death is a tragic and unfortunate reminder that a long life is not a guarantee but a gift. As students at this institution, or any educational institution for that matter, we often make plans for what we want to do when we graduate and how best to achieve those goals, unwilling, or perhaps unable, to face the grim possibility that we may not make it there.

To face your mortality does not mean to live constantly fearing that you may die sooner than expected, because no one knows when it is their time. Rather, it means to be aware of just how valuable and precious life is. Cherish the moments you spend with family and friends, make every moment count and, above all else, enjoy life and the act of living.

In all of our planning for the future – where we want to work and live, who we want to spend our lives with, how many kids we want (if any) and how best to raise them – let us not forget to enjoy the fruits of what the present brings.