When Grief Finds You
Grief and loss are never easy to talk about or write about, but sometimes we need to confront them. Like many people over the last couple of years, I have experienced both, and sometimes it seems all too often.
I just lost a good friend two nights ago. He was someone I had known for forty years, had lost touch with for a while, and then rediscovered when we realized we leave right near each other. We talked often, supported each other through good times and bad, and socialized weekly, meeting for coffee and trivia. Joe even became a fan of my books, reading them and telling me what he thought about them.
When I learned of his passing, I was devastated. I hadn't seen him in a couple of weeks and kept meaning to reach out, but one thing led to another and it didn't happen. Incidents like that make the loss worse because you feel like the person left without you getting the chance to let them know what they meant to you.
One thing I have learned through my own personal health episodes (I'll save that for another time) is that life spins on a dime. One day all can be well with the world, and the next it can be completely upended for you. My lesson learned was not to take time for granted. We all think we have plenty of it and may put off things we mean to do or say. You tell yourself you will get to it or you'll call or email that person soon, or see them another day. The reality is that the next day is never guaranteed.
Telling someone thanks, or saying what they mean to you, or offering up some other small gesture like a message or a phone call takes minutes out of your day. Those minutes can be precious and can have a lasting impact that can turn things around for someone else. What you say or do might bring a smile when it's needed most.
Grief and loss are often a part of my writing because it is something that we all can relate to in one way or another. It's an emotion that often brings us together, for better or worse. Losing a friend, family member, loved one, or pet, and shedding tears over those feelings doesn't show that we are weak. If anything, it shows others that we're human. The comfort that we bring each other draws us closer together, and that is a trait that I feel is important to write about.
My message for today is a simple one. reach out to that person you have been meaning to contact for a while and say hi. Let someone know how important they are to you and what they mean to your life each day. Pay them a visit, but them a coffee, have a meal together, or just drop a quick note. I promise you it matters.
Rest in Peace, Joe.