A few days ago in Dublin, Ireland, a delivery driver was killed in a hit-and-run.
Thiago Cortes was from Brazil, 28, a husband, a friend, a son. Crowds gathered in Dublin city centre on Wednesday for a vigil to honour his passing.
Tonight, I ordered food from Deliveroo and thanked the driver whose face was half-masked, but I could tell he was smiling as he wished me a good evening. When I sat down, I opened the box, and I noticed a piece of paper inside. My heart broke as I read this note.
I was tired from the workday and wanted to just shut off, but this note suddenly brought me into the present moment. It made me stop and think. It made me really think about how precious this life is.
I thought about Thiago. How he lost his life too young. How he maybe came here to start a new and exciting life and then to have it end so suddenly.
I thought about how it can end so suddenly for any of us. We could walk across the street and get hit by a car. We could get a heart attack or cancer. We could get Covid, or pass it along to someone more vulnerable than us.
We get so caught up in things that don’t matter; this is your reminder to appreciate life. To not take things for granted. This is your reminder to tell that person you love them. To stop hating yourself. To carve out time for your craft—no matter how busy you think you are. Yes, be compassionate with yourself, but life is short, and it could end at any moment.
And, lastly, always be kind to people. Tip your drivers, thank them, or ask them how their day is. We are all people struggling to make it in this world—no matter our ethnicity, job title, skin colour, race, or religion.
Below is a quote from Thiago’s father. He wrote this in a Facebook post after learning about his son’s death:
“It will be impossible to forget the day they stole from me the most precious asset. Today my dear son passed away, revolt me as death took him so unexpectedly. It’s hard to face this reality when it was about someone so young, with so many things still to live for. But life has never been fair and I will try to get attached every day to the best memories so that a little peace can invade my heart. Rest in peace my dear son, someday we will meet again.”
Thiago Osório F. A. Côrtes.
08/06/1992 – 02/09/2020
Relephant read: Video: Death comes without Warning.