Losses are becoming a very real part of life as I enter my fifties. I can recall that when we heard of someone passing, it was always someone older, it seemed. Now, it is becoming more and more that these people are our friends, coworkers, loved ones and neighbors. I do not like it. Not one bit. Most of the time when you read an obituary, or just scan them, it is reassuring not to know any of them. This is changing for me. I am now reading them to make sure I do not miss anyone I know.
Have you ever noticed that no matter what we do or how we live, death seems to find us all. I do not personally believe that there is a predetermined time or place for my death. The Bible tells us that “time and unforeseen occurence befall us all”. So, instead, I think that there is a certain randomness to it, that if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, you may suffer because of your choices in the matters.
For instance, if you drink and drive, your chances of being involved in an accident go up, way up. Yet, conversely, if you are driving home from the grocery, a drunk may hit you and cause you pain and suffering. Randomness. Some things can be concluded from the choices you make. That is easy. If you smoke, you are at greater risk of emphysema and lung cancer. However, you can never smoke and get the same things.
There are those who would make the argument that smoking isn’t the problem (substitute drinking, drugs, etc., for smoking). They say that it is “their time”. There it is again, that mysterious magical phrase that implies that predestination again. Oh well, you say, I can have my beliefs and you can have yours. Good, now we are on common ground.
I am writing all these things because in the last month or so, we have experienced several losses in our family, friends, and community at large. My husbands two uncles, Tom and Don, passed away. On the heels of them, a good friend lost her father suddenly. As we were recovering from these losses, we heard of the loss of a young man who was a police officer in Alaska. He grew up here in our hometown, and he went to school with my daughter and nephew. The city joined together to give him a heroes sendoff, complete with a motorcade through town and a memorial service at the high school. Things were finally settling down a little when another friend told us of the loss of a classmate, at the young age of 52, to a sudden heart attack. That was two days ago. Today, a dear friend wrote to tell me she could not walk in our lupus walk because her husband had passed away yesterday. I tell you, it has been a rough time lately. If you add to the mix, my spiritual daughter being physically abused and almost killed by her abusive husband, then you can round it all out.
I wonder at times like these, how to comfort those who have experienced these losses. In the end, the best thing I can do is be there if they need to talk, help out if they need help, bring food if it is needed, and be a friend. Sometimes it is not the words, but the actions that speak to a grieving heart.
I pray that all these families will feel God surrounding them in their time of need, and that they may know there are people out here who are willing to listen and help as needed. While the pain is fresh in their hearts, remember that the loved ones will live on in their legacies of love they have given to their families.
These folks have all dealt with their losses in a dignified manner that is amazing to behold at times. While their deep grief is seen, just below the surface, it is the memories that will sustain them.
I have lost friends, loved ones and many more in this lifetime. I will lose many more I am sure. Because of this, I try each day to tell those I love, that I love them. I try to live like a song I love says “something worth leaving behind”. When I go, I hope those who are still here will remember me with fondness and share stories of times long ago. I hope they laugh, loudly, and see old friends of long ago. Mostly, I hope they will remember that they were all loved.