What Remains?

As an online community I was a part of closed its doors for good at the end of August (figuratively), opportunities are growing in another. Aside from this blog, my writing career has moved more into online journalism for Korean entertainment. I wake up early each morning to check the latest news from overseas sources and prepare drafts for my Editor. Thus far, it’s been enjoyable! I’ve always wanted to be a writer and this experience has been rewarding. That was until yesterday, when I was the first at my publication to report the death of a 23 year old entertainer.

I’m not a beat writer—I am lucky to have free range to write about whatever is interesting to me for this publication—and my portfolio already has a decent amount of front page news. Why did I feel like I had to write this? The tragedy made me recall that of other celebrities throughout my lifetime who passed away while still relatively young. Did I fully remember the publicity around their death? And, now that I am a digital journalist, had I realized I made the choice to contribute to the publicity of someone else’s death?

For more than 3 hours, the stress of writing the article bothered me. What remains? What do I remember about Aaliyah, TLC’s Left-Eye; Amy Winehouse, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G.; Blaque’s Natina, or other artists (music or otherwise) who’ve passed away in the past 15 or so years? For the most part, I remember their passion for what they did. I remember opportunities utilized to contribute to their communities. Sure, some people were very controversial, but they were impactful. 

As of today, I do not have a scholarship or a building named after me. I do not have my name etched into a stone within the walls of a church or any facilities, for that matter. These things are not a part of my legacy—not even offspring. In a roundabout way, I was compelled to write the article because it reminded me that God’s plan does not always match with ours. No one wants to die without making a difference, but I think we forget that people also leave this Earth on the edge of their own idea(l) of greatness. That young lady simply wanted her and her bandmates to earn a #1 ranking on the Korean charts. Posthumously, it’s happened.

Whenever God calls me home, the most important thing that remains in the memories of my loved ones and those I’ve interacted with, is that I served Him. I was eager to live and eager to serve Him. Everything else is just extra.

What will remain for you?

~ Ashley


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