I had another blog all ready to go today, but I woke up early this morning knowing that I needed to write something new. In the last three days, while we celebrated life with our families, friends have lost people they love, to death and/or are in the process of losing someone. Most of us have gone through it: the waiting, the feelings of no control, the penetrating grief that envelops you. You want the people you love to feel free of their pain, but what you really want is them….always, you still want them for just one more minute.
In the last three years, I have had a sister and a good friend both say to me, “I don’t understand why this is happening.” I have thought about it a lot. I like to have the answers, love to research questions, talk to other people, think…..all because I like answers. I don’t have the answers for my friend and I didn’t for my sister. I’m sorry. We question our faith, karma, the universe; it’s hard to believe that our losses are random, chances or decisions we made, that we weren’t even aware of the consequences of.. It doesn’t feel fair and it’s not.
Unfortunately, what is fair, or at least equal, is that we will all experience it. We will all have some loss that we struggle with, albeit there can be lots of discussion about levels of loss, but at the time, our loss, is the greatest loss… Can we define how many pieces a heart can be broken into? I remember all of my children’s first loves, the breakups and the heartaches. I remember thinking, “This is nothing, it get’s worse, you will get over it.” At some point though, I realized that to them, their first loss was as earth shattering as any of mine, because it was their first. They didn’t know they would get over it; they didn’t know there would be someone else who they would love, who would deserve them. Loss can’t be measured as one person’s against another. A broken heart is broken.
I have learned, and I’m sure age has something to do with it, that life is short. There isn’t one unexplained loss, there are many. I can’t control them: I want to, but I can’t. Many years ago, I decided that saying I love you is a good thing. I never wanted to walk away from a conversation with my children, without those words. I never wanted the regret of something happening to them and my feeling that they didn’t know. As I get older and question my own longevity, I’m more diligent. I don’t want anything to happen to me and have them ever question whether we were ok, or that they always had my support. Many arguments, with the kids, have ended with me saying, “Ok, well I love you.” “Remember, even when I’m mad, I love you.” “Don’t forget, I love you.”
Those conversations have extended to friends. It’s so easy to take people for granted; then they are gone, or we are gone, and the chance is gone. I don’t take my friends for granted anymore. I know how quickly life can separate you from each other, through distance, misunderstandings, and death. I’ve been trying to: be more compassionate, take more time to tell people that I appreciate them, forgive those I can, and always remember to say, “I love you.”