As I sat in my chair browsing through Facebook updates it occurred to me that these past 6 months I have been surrounded by far too much death. Death is never easy no matter the circumstance. You can never be prepared enough or sure enough that you’ve made it clear to your loved ones how much they matter to you.
My husband and I lost a good friend recently to suicide and it was so shocking to us both. Never in a million years would we ever have believed this man would take his own life. That this funny, outgoing, and happy man would feel that there was no other option in his life but to take the easy way out. There is a saying… “Death is easy…life is hard.” and this is true. Life is what makes us the strong people we are. The trials and tribulations we all go through show us that we are survivors. So on the morning of that horrible phone call I asked myself…”Why? Why would he do such a thing? He had a wife and child and mother and a father and a brother and sister-in-law and many friends that loved and needed him. Then I got angry. I must admit…I am still angry with him. I feel guilt that as his family sat around me and grieved at his funeral…I was having visions of smacking him right in the head and screaming :damn you!” in his face. Life is a gift not to be squandered away. Each day you are here means that you are needed. That you are important and you matter.
Then last week my husband comes home and tells me that his friend at work lost his young daughter to a car wreck one morning on her way to college. Her tire blew out and she hit a tree. Just that quickly her family’s entire world changed. Her father is suddenly robbed of his daughter and her child deprived of her mother. It all seems so senseless. That something so small as a round piece of rubber would take a life. Today our friend bury’s his child and I can’t imagine the searing agony he has had to endure to do so.
I have a teenage son. A happy, energetic, sometimes sullen but always loving 15 year old that has gone blissfully happy through his entire life with out death really touching him. (He did lose his grandmother and grandfather but was younger and doesn’t really remember it).He came home from school last week with this sad and heartbreaking look on his face. My heart dropped because what ever caused this happy and cheerful boy to have this expression was bad. “Mom…..my friend at school killed himself last night.” Just like that my sons life was forever changed. He was so confused, “I don’t get it. He was just cuttin’ up in class the other day makin’ us all laugh.” What do I say to that? How do I explain something to my son that I don’t understand myself? All I could do was hug him and tell him that I was there to talk to if he need it. But in my mind I asked my self…is that enough? I can’t imagine the horror this child’s parents are going through..I don’t even want to try to imagine. But I am sure they are asking themselves the never to be answered question…did he really know how much we loved him? (if they are anything like me they tell their children a thousand times a day) But did it sink in? Do I SHOW my children that I love them more than life itself? I want to say…of course I do…what a silly question. But beyond the endless spoiling and buying of Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, and American Eagle…the latest gadgets and gizmos…and the bed time hugs and kisses I have to wonder…should I be doing more?
I stared at a blank wall pondering this question and finally realized yes…I should. I can’t hold the older ones in my lap anymore (maybe I could try sitting in their laps…lol) or pick them up to cuddle but there definitely should be more heart to heart talks. About everything and nothing. I can make it a point to tell my children…there is NOTHING you can’t talk to me about. Ever. Period. They are old enough for real conversation. Important conversations with words like…YOU are important…YOU matter…I NEED YOU…the WORLD needs you…Of all the gifts given to me…YOU are the most treasured. These words can never be said to much. Spontaneous hugs and kisses for no reason at all should be doled out in abundance…and they are at my home…we are definitely a show-your-love family.
My advice to all who read this…tell your loved ones often…spontaneously…for no reason at all…that you love them and need them. God forbid tomorrow the unthinkable happen and you have to ask yourself…did I say I love you enough?