Over the past year, I’ve noticed myself suffering from various seemingly odd emotions, the gamut between sheer joy, broodiness, to something of despair. I wasn’t sure the reason, or what set it off. The other day I came to think of where it seems to have started, but I’m still not quite sure the reason it impacted me.

A few months ago, an acquaintance passed away. We attended school together, but her and I may have spoke once over those 3 years. My only true interaction, one I don’t fully remember, was at a small Halloween party that a few of my friends threw in college. For some reason, her death has haunted me, it’s something I think about several times a week; I wish I knew why because without an real connection, only a closeness in age, it feels weird.

Obviously, she has had an impact, even on those like me. The ripples from her loss are greater than I would expect. While the full impact on my life might not have came from the events related to her; I can point to several things that have changed at least in part because of them.

One of the most notable things for me has been that I’ve felt broody. Some of it I know comes from my cousin’s pregnancy, but some of this I feel comes from facing mortality. Sitting there during the memorial service, watching snapshots of her childhood pass before me it touched me, and made me wish I was there. There not just as a form of nostalgia, but also as something I felt the need to be part of now. The happiness of childhood and innocence provides such intense joy to those around.

Another thing that’s changed, is that I have become more open to religion. Something about watching the community in and from the church during the service, changed something for me. While I am still not religious, my view has changed, and continues to change. I’ve always leaned more on an agnostic front personally, with a belief in some form of karmic justice. I know that from experience what I do always is almost always returned greater in the future. I cannot say that it is by fate, or by the hands of a deity, any more than I feel I can say it is by luck. More and more, I seek to find a shared faith, even though I don’t truly believe, and part of that is due to the warmth of the community I saw that day from our shared grief.

We will all have an impact and it cannot be measured or seen. Only once we have passed and settled will the scales truly show the difference we made. Change what you can, for you and those near, and even if the impact isn’t large or doesn’t occur swiftly; your impact will be felt. Do good.