Death is like a sunset. It symbolizes the end of day, a day of life. The colors are both serene and somber, yet beautiful. It’s the celebration of life.
Today is the first day of my one week “unemployment”, or staycation as some would call it. While I’ve taken two week vacations here and there, I’ve never really taken time off between jobs since I was 16.
So here I am, with nothing but also a million things to do on my checklist, I start my morning by reading the news on my Google Reader. I came across several posts that hit close to home, including one from my friend Jenna. I can’t help but join the effort to support Jennie, who recently lost her husband.
I normally don’t like sharing stories that are too personal, especially on social channels. But I’ve learned over time, sharing is a part of the mourning process – a process that digests grief slowly, but surely. Whether you like it or not, we are all human, born with same ability to feel. We may be different in how we view life and experiences that make us unique, but at the end of the day, we are quite the same.
When I was 14, I lost my beloved grandfather suddenly and it was the biggest wake-up call of my life. Flash forward four more years, my grandmother and father passed away within three months of each other, and I stood face to face with the real meaning of being lonely. As Jenna mentioned in her post, it is “a very exclusive club you never ever want to belong to”, a club I would never want to wish on my worst enemy. We can rely on our family, friends, prayer, God, whatever your support system may be, but it doesn’t relieve the pain in any way.
Fr. Roger Gillis aka Fr. Rog was a college mentor of mine who also passed before his time. He taught me the meaning of love (for ourselves and others) and I’ll never forget his last words:
It is not always easy to love ourselves. On the other hand, it is easy for me to love all of you. It isn’t too tricky, because if you love other people, they’ll love you back! …but lovers don’t keep score. Take heed St. John’s call: Love one another. Take time to be with each other and to encourage each other. You can’t build community at a distance. We all get busy but take time for one another because this is how we know we are loved. -Fr. Rog, S.J. (1947 – 2010)
I was lucky I was too young to deal with the real world, because planning a funeral, dealing with insurance paperwork, and raising kids is a heavy load on its own. I am so humbled by Jennie’s optimism and ability to deal, all while catering to her own mourning process, but let’s be honest, it can’t be easy.
As a human being, we are all the same. Let’s join efforts and help one another in one of these ways:
+ Tell or remind someone you care about how much you love them. Forgive, love without limit.