Once, when I was on the brink of being a senior in High School, (I am thinking it was my senior year) I made Lori Land take me to a movie that she was not excited to see. Let’s be real, most movies I wanted to see she was less than enthusiastic, but being the amazing mother she is, she dutifully went to Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. I remember coming out of the movie theater with this renewed sense of inspiration and drive to rise to the undeniable potential that was within me . Obviously, it didn’t take much: a kid’s movie and a cherry coke, but this scene has stuck with me throughout these past two weeks.
Mr. Edward Magorium: [to Molly, about dying] When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written “He dies.” That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is “He dies.” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with “He dies.” And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words “He dies.” but because of the life we saw prior to the words.
[pause, walks over to Molly]
Mr. Edward Magorium: I’ve lived all five of my acts, Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I’m only asking that you turn the page, continue reading… and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest “He died.”
Molly Mahoney: [starting to sob] I love you.
Mr. Edward Magorium: I love you, too.
[picks Molly up, sighs heavily]
Mr. Edward Magorium: Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.
Last week, my community grieved the loss of a girl. A girl that made such an impact in so many peoples lives- a sister, a friend, a teammate, a classmate. A woman with her whole life ahead of her. She left behind so much, but one of the things that resounded in the comments, posts, and well wishes was the way she made people feel. She brought light and love into peoples lives and the evidence is all over Facebook. Her life was the testament to how we should live. Lovingly, and to not look at her death but her life that was lived before it.
Last night, my entire Facebook community mourned the death of Genie, Patch Adams, Peter Pan. Their entire childhood revisited throughout the night and the memories that this man played such a hand in. His talent brought so many people happiness and yet his life was so full of despair. And at the same time, an entire wave of people have called for justice as the senior was unjustly executed. His life on the cusp of transition.
Throughout these moments I can’t help but think of Dustin Hoffman( Mr. Magorium)- with his odd lisp, his colorful dance moves and eccentric behavior, and how much he made an impact on Molly. His life would never be over as long as his legacy lived on. So for all who have died young, they live on in the quiet moments of remembrance and life. Through the lives of families and friends, through good times and bad times…Robin Williams will be there 10 years from now when I have kids and they watch the movie that made me believe t hat I would never grow up. He will be remembered by bringing a voice to suicide prevention and the real epidemic of depression… And for Michael Brown, he will forever be the call for justice. For there to be equality for all. And for the ones left, our job is to keep them here. To never stop being the voice for them. To embrace them in the moments of our lives and to remember that We should live our life as an occasion… Rise to it.