A colleague in another department in our university passed away. He was only in his 40s and death was very sudden. Apparently it was some form of cancer. Within a month it was diagnozed, he was dead. He was very successful, in his profession, as a teacher, as a colleague, as a friend, and as father and husband. His wife and daughters are very strong. It seems he has few, if any, regrets.
His death caused many of us to ask ourselves: how then should we live our lives - since a live can be short and death sudden? A common thought is that we should treasure our time, our health, and the people around us. While wealth, fame, power, etc. seem fleeting and hence less important. Actually time and health are also impermanent. But people and relationships seem more treasurable - and there is a strong sense that those who died do not really pass away. They are still around in some form, and there are possibilities of re-union with them in the future.
I believe we should use our lives, which may be very short (or very long), to build something long lasting. We may pass away from this world, but we continue to live in another. Hence personal character, people and relationships are of the utmost importance - relationships with the people we love and the God that made us in the beginning.