Since the untimely death of Paul Walker, the start of Fast and Furious movies, on Nov. 30, 2013, it’s been hard to escape the media’s coverage of it. Paul was well known for being a blue-eye heartthrob, but as I’ve realized from many of the stories I’ve read in the last few days, he was just as beautiful on the inside. He was described as gentle, humble spirit with a big heart. He was charitable and many people have come forward with stories of how he did something incredibly nice or influenced them positively in some way. Apparently, he anonymously bought a soldier the $10,000 engagement ring for his fiancé that the soldier couldn’t afford. What an incredible act of kindness.
I always enjoyed watching him in movies, he seemed like a down to earth guy that was a not a stereotypical celebrity. Every time I read a story about him—it’s both heartbreaking and touching. Typically when celebrities pass away, it’s easy to move on or overlook them. It can be easy to be detached when it’s someone you don’t know. But Paul’s death has stuck with me. I think about the fact that he was a father, and he leaves behind a teenage daughter. I lost my father at 19, and I can only imagine the heartbreak she’s suffering. To lose a parent is an unbelievable pain. I think about how he won’t be there for those monumental events in her life—graduating high school, graduating college, getting married, her first child—and how she’ll long for him. I know that’s how I feel. But I also think about the legacy he’s leaving behind and the way he touched people in ways most of us probably never realized. His life was meaningful and he lived it in a way where he made a difference to people.
What will people say about you when you’re gone? What will your legacy be? I want people to remember me for my kindness, the way I may have encouraged, inspired, or motivated them. I want people to say that they knew God lived in me—the way I think God most likely lived in Paul and all of us. His death saddens me because I know he’ll be missed greatly by fans and those he loved dearly. But I’m also grateful his death will have meaning to others. Life is so short. You never know when your time is up—and that’s so scary, but at the same time, it doesn’t take much to live a life of meaning. Spread some unexpected kindness, make someone laugh, forgive someone, give something away, live your life with purpose, and let others see that God lives in you. Live your life so that the short time we have here on earth matters.
To those who are suffering or have suffered through the lost of a loved one, I’m sorry for your loss. Please know God is always with you, and through him, we can find the comfort and peace for our hearts to heal.