Have you ever stopped to think about how many funerals you’ve been to – or how many you’ve heard about? The ones of people you don’t know or never heard of can be in and out of your mind within minutes. The ones that are tragic, especially if they make news in mass media – may give you pause.
The ones you know and love – even more so if you’ve known them for any length of time – those are gripping. I won’t even discuss how your core is rattled when they’re the ones you love the most. It’s enough to make you shudder.
I’m a thinker…and when I see death…I consider things. I learned of a friend, who had a close friend that he recently discovered was terminally ill. He’d known him for decades. They spent considerable time together, but he’d never disclosed how bad his health was. After one last trip to the hospital, he seemed to decline – quickly – within two to three weeks. As I often heard one end of their conversations, I began to ponder.
To his family and friends, life was still worth living! They wanted to do everything they could to keep him here. Talk to new doctors. Try new drugs. Move to another hospital. But the friend, didn’t feel the same. He felt pain. Fatigue. Despair. He was tired, and it occurred to me that while that two or three weeks felt so short for his loved ones, each minute for him…felt agonizing.
I was there when my friend got the phone call. He told me before he answered, “He’s gone.” When the call ended, I watched his mind transport through all of the good times they had together, and I knew that his departure struck him in a way for which he could never have prepared…
His loss reminded me of my own, as I still lament the deaths of my favorite uncle, grandmother and father, in that order. Their absence from my life is still very pronounced to me. As I make great effort to immerse myself in wonderful memories with them, I remember the family I have left…especially those who are closest to me.
Death is never easy. It is hurtful. Painful. Even when you’re convinced they’re in a better place, there is an indisputable void – because we are inherently selfish – and when we love someone, we want them to be here forever, for us. I know I did.
I am elated to recognize that we operate still, in cycles. As we lose some loved ones, we gain others. Do you know anyone pregnant? Has there been a recent birth in your family? Do you know someone who’s had one? Perhaps there’s a new in-law. A wedding. An engagement. I’ve seen it… because life is all around us.
While my oldest is finally burgeoning into teenhood (turning 13 this week), my youngest is still one, and will be two on the 21st. My four year old proudly turned five last week, and he believes he has now obtained Superman status. My ten year old has become a self made mini-mogul (long, funny story) and is eagerly anticipating being 11 next month. My point is, while I’m saddened by the losses in my life…I’m also celebrating the lives and new friendships even, that are unfolding before me.
The older I get, the more differently I look at life. I think about what I want to accomplish and achieve. I strive to make a myriad of milestones. Some I know may never happen. Others, I pray will. I’ve made some goals just for the heck of it, but aside from the desire for personal fulfillment, I want to make sure that I also prize the ones I love the most.
People can make millions and never be able to spend it all. Individuals can surround themselves with crowds of “friends,” and feel completely lonely every day of their life. You cannot buy good health. You cannot pay for blessings. You cannot choose your family…but what you can do – is love.
I am eternally grateful for the family that I have who have shaped my life. In particular my incomparable parents, grandmother and uncle, whose profiles are indelibly printed in my heart. My siblings are a part of the fabric of my life that is most precious, and my own “little” family makes me feel that the people who raised me did a good job.
My husband and I are continually learning new things about the boys. Some makes us laugh. Some makes us cry, but above all else – I’m confident that death makes us reflect…what are we doing with our lives? And is it best? Is it worth it? Is it right?
Life…is so…short. Death is inevitable. I implore you…Live your life to the fullest. Make it meaningful everyday. Be confident that you are where you need to be – spiritually, physically and emotionally because your days are not nearly as long as you think. They fly by!
Don’t get stuck in unforgiveness. Don’t belabor the benign. Spend your days with the ones you love the most, and take time to do what makes you happiest. You will always see death. Remember to really live your life.
Selah (which means, pause and calmly think of that).
#livelifetothefullest, #catchyourdreams, #lovetheoneswholoveyoumost
Caption: Me and him, celebrating the little things in life. He wanted to do homework like his big brothers :o) #priceless