2015 has been a very interesting year.
There have been many laughs, smiles, and happy memories made — but as in all life balance, there have been some good cries, struggles, heartbreak, and loss.
There’s something about death that really puts life in perspective. Death is inevitable. We all know that someday, whether it be tomorrow or 50 years from now, we will die. There’s no escaping it. It’s one of the few things we, as humans, all have in common. Yet, many times when someone dies, we are surprised. Baffled. Shocked. Confused. We say things like, “Wow, she was so young!” or “Man, he had so much more life to live.” We feel many different emotions – anger, regret, sadness, agony, and maybe, for some, a tiny bit of relief or happiness (depending on the situation, of course).
As I get older, I’m noticing more and more that people I know are passing. It shouldn’t be a surprise to me — as I get older, people I know and love are getting older too, and that’s just part of life. But, it is interesting how as I age, I feel I notice it more than I ever have. And, I allow it to affect me more — it’s that weird heavy feeling in your chest that just kinda sits there for a while, and you can’t seem to shake it.
This year, we lost several family members. Four of those hit pretty close to home for me — two grandparents, our family dog, and most recently, a dear cousin. It’s funny how when these passings happen, one of the first things you think about is the last time you spoke to that person or saw them. For me, sometimes my mind then drifts to wonder if I did enough during their life to ensure they knew I loved them. How will I know? Did I ever ask? There are so many unanswered questions — but really those answers I seek are merely for my own conscience.
I was recently listening a a podcast that briefly talked about “giving warm hellos and goodbyes.” Although this wasn’t the focus of the podcast, this stuck out to me — kinda like a bright light that I’ve seen before, but never really noticed, if that makes sense. So often we become robots to our daily routines, and sometimes we forget to take a moment to spread a little love to those we hold dear. A warm hello, a kind how are you, a meaningful goodbye, I love you — but with feeling, and meaning it with everything.
No matter what is going on in your life, or how “busy” you may be or feel — there is always time to share a warm hello/goodbye with someone. You truly never know if that hello, that goodbye, or that “I love you” will be the last one you are able to say to that person. Every passing moment is another chance to turn it all around. Taking a few extra seconds to create a genuine moment with someone is worth it — and in the end, you will know the answers to your questions, and maybe — just maybe, you will find peace.
I love you.