When I was recuperating from an illness, with a lot of time on my hands, I was watching DVDs of Babylon 5. In one of the episodes of the 3rd season, the Mimbari Ambassador, Delenn, was trying to convince one of the Rangers, Marcus, to explain why he didn’t want to attend the Mimbari Rebirthing Ceremony. Just to elaborate, this ceremony requires two things from each attendee: he/she must give up something of great importance to this person, and he/she must reveal a secret he/she has not revealed to anyone. Marcus said, “Everything I was, everything I had, all of it died that night. I don’t have anything left to give.” Marcus’s family were killed when the Shadows obliterated their colony world–only Marcus survived. Obviously, he feels a great deal of guilt at this. Understandably, if we were in Marcus’s position, we would feel the same guilt…that same urge to ask God, “Why me? Why was I left behind? Why wasn’t I taken alonog with them?”
Delenn’s reply was something that’s worthy of contemplation…
“”And that is exactly what you must give up. Yes, you have lost much, endured much, sacrificed greatly, but you cling to the memory of your sacrifices, of all the things you have lost or left behind. They drag behind you, like chains of your own making. They can have a terrible power over you, Marcus. The power of grief, and loss, and regret. Yes, you have let go of the people, the places, the things, but you have not let go of the pain. You have not forgiven yourself.”
Marcus: “For what?”
Delenn: “Being alive.”
We don’t have to forget about the people we’ve lost…on the contrary, our lives must be dedicated to service as a fitting memorial to them. I can think of no better way of honoring their memories than by being a blessing to others.