Life isn’t always sunshine and daises. The sun sets, daisies will dry out & crumble, and that’s ok.
This week someone I was very close with died. She had a major impact on how I was raised, how I see the world, and why I try to look for the good in everyone.
I got the call on Thursday that if I wanted to say bye I should come as quickly as possible. Friday I drove from Chicago to North Carolina, and Saturday morning she was gone.
Until this weekend I’ve lived a charmed life. Everyone I’ve grown up knowing & loving was still alive, so this was uncharted territory for me. I wanted to share some of the thoughts I had this weekend as I stood with my family with all of us supporting each other through the experience.
It was intense.
Grief is a powerful emotion. It’s raw. It’s not pretty. And plenty of people aren’t comfortable being close to it. If you can step into it, however, you can provide support for people who desperately need it.
I can’t tell you how many friends told me, “I don’t know if I could be where you are right now.” Eventually you won’t have the choice.
One day someone you love isn’t going to be there to take your call, make you an apple pie from scratch, or tell you stories about growing up in the mountains. You’ll have to deal with it then.
But if you want to show your love and support to those who are in the midst of grief, you’re going to need to be able to maintain your own balance, presence of mind, and actively connect with the folks who are still here to feel your love. It can be as simple as a hand on the back, and it matters.
And that connection is important.
You’re never completely alone. A part of who you are is inside every single person who has a story about you to tell. I found out more about my Grandma this weekend than I knew in my lifetime by listening to the stories everyone was telling about her.
I also heard plenty of stories about me from aunts, uncles, great aunts, etc. Stuff I have no memory of, and I’m glad I got to hear them. It helped me realize my life is more than what I experience. It also consists of the experiences & impacts I create in other people’s lives, too.
So, thank you for being in my life. I hope to honor our relationship and bring joy & light to yours.
Now go hug someone you love.