Death can be strangely life affirming. From the moment we are born we are inching towards death. Hopefully, it is a very slow inch and we are granted many, many decades of life. Last week my husband lost his brother, Joe. He was a kind, gentle man not without his challenges but accepted himself as he was and accepted others as they were. That’s what I will remember about him.
Funerals have a way of reminding us that we all will transition from this world. The sorrow and angst of the tradition of bidding your loved one farewell can be gut wrenching. I’ve always thought there had to be a better way to say goodbye to someone important to you.
We talk to our loved ones everyday, but do we tell them that we love them and how important they are to our lives? Are we too focused on that milk that was left on the counter or the clothes left on the bathroom floor? In life years, those actions are not important in the scheme of things. A funeral reminds us of that the minutia is irrelevant.
Unfortunately, my husband and I have dealt with the loss of several key family members. We are happily married but we’ve had our challenges. One of those challenging periods centered around death. In rapid succession, we lost his eldest sister, my grandmother , another of his sisters, my mother, two of my sisters, then his mother. The pain was and still is, very real. An onslaught of that level of pain changes a person at their core.
But, this post isn’t about death. It’s about how the loss of dearly loved people in our lives help affirm life. It jolts us back to reality that life is to be valued and held precious. It clears away the fog, allowing us to see which life experiences have set our normal. The constant pursuit of more , more and even more. The overwhelming need to belong anywhere with anyone. The fact we want to be anyone but who we really are - just as we are. We hold firmly to our tribes, never looking past our social circle. This post is about striving for what makes our souls soar. It’s about embracing life, ignoring people who profess to know you but who have chosen to barely scratched the surface of your complexity.
Every day, we get a chance to write our own stories. Be the author of your story. Do you. Be you. When you meet with resistance and you will, push past those who try to derail you instead of offering a nurturing hand. Enjoy your wonderful and unique brand of humanness. Appreciate who and what you are because there is no one else exactly like you. Resist becoming a lemming. Opt out of being a cookie cutout of the current trend. Embrace your individuality, love your life.
Yes, the sorrow of losing a loved one can force us to refocus on what is important. Don’t wait for loss to open your eyes to what a treasure your life is and can be.
Thanks for reading,