Years ago, I remember watching a movie called The Mission where in a climactic ending, a priest leading a procession through a jungle while carrying a Holy Sacrament is gunned down. As he falls, someone else takes up the holy object till he too is shot, and the sacred object passes on from hand to hand.
I've often thought how much life is like that: like a relay race where a baton is passed on from one runner to another, human beings live for a few years, then die to be replaced by another generation which carries on the legacy.
Today my mother's closest friend, the friend who had held her hand as she died, also passed away. Her husband too, who had been so kind to my widowed mother, is long gone. Many of my parents' friends and their generation are gone, or are getting increasingly fragile with time. The generation that had always walked a step ahead, had always dealt with the woes and worries of the world, is dying away. Mine must take up what they leave behind, putting aside fears and self-doubts, and however unwilling and ill-prepared, try as best as we can to carry on. From generation to generation.
It's the way of the world. Agonizing. Heartwrenching. But go on we must.