Finishing Their Symphonies

Over the several years or so, I have had at least ten friends, or close acquaintances, die from various diseases, mostly cancer of one type or another. The youngest was 50 years, with the oldest being 68 years–all cut down much too young, with their life’s work left unfinished. All were good people, doing great things.

I have wondered what to make of this.

I remember from my education in the classics (the Jesuits were great at this), that most symphonies are written in four movements. That great composer, Franz Schubert, however, was only able to complete two movements of his work, before he died an untimely death in 1868.  Hence, the work became famously known as the Unfinished Symphony (Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8).

Our work, it seems, is to complete the “symphonies” of the lives that these premature deaths left unfinished–to carry on the good works, and good deeds, that they were so tragically unable to complete. That is how we can best honor the memory of those who have died so young–carrying on the wonderful work and good things that they left undone.

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