This week I got the news that a family friend is getting very close to the end of his journey. He’s had medical problems for years and things have worsened and now he and his wife are working with hospice. The man has always had a great sense of humor, is good to his friends, loves his wife, and has really endured through serious medical issues in a positive way that you don’t often see. He’s not perfect, none of us are, and I’m sure that he’s had his moments of anger and frustration, as well as fear and sadness, especially at this point in time.
It’s not easy to know the end is very close, whether it’s your life or that of someone you know well, especially when they’re one of those ‘good people.’ No, it’s not good to wish anyone were dead or think it’s better to lose someone who has some not so great habits (everyone has a family and a mother), but when the world loses a bright soul it seems like it’s felt even more. What would you do if you knew that your end was near? I would hope that you would take advantage of every moment you have with those you love, and maybe even do a splurge or two that you’ve always wanted, like take a special trip with your partner or kids, maybe even take the opportunity to try and mend a few fences.
As I was reflecting on the impending loss of this friend it got me thinking about the other side of death and loss, the side of the living. We don’t go anywhere when someone we know or love dies, we’re still here. And often we end up at a funeral or life celebration talking about them with other friends and family. It’s not often that we’ve got the opportunity to let someone know what they meant to us and how thankful we are that they’ve been in our life before they pass. It adds something to the grieving process for both sides, to be able to share that with them and support and love them, and it can make their last days very meaningful and happy, instead of painful and sad.
Loss is never easy, especially when it’s someone we’ve known for a very long time, and known on a very personal level. But the way things work right now, everything comes to an end. So I do encourage you to take a little time to reflect on how you want your end to go and make sure that you’ve got things clearly written down, but more so I encourage you to make as many memories as you can, to love as big as you can and to enjoy as much of life as you can.