Grief involves missing the presence of a loved one and the lost opportunities associated with that loss. However, in our busy lives, sometimes we miss out on opportunities with the living.
Recently, a friend shared a quote about not waiting to express love at her grave, but rather sharing that love now, while she’s alive.
Taking Loved Ones for Granted
In our busy-ness, we often taken people for granted.
I feel I appreciate Kent. However, a recent business trip reminded me how much he truly does in our life together. When you live with another person for any length of time, you fall into a rhythm. You agree on a division of chores. Each person brings his/her own abilities to the mix, and hopefully those abilities balance out.
- One person may be better at cleaning whereas the other person might be better at cooking.
- One person might be more diligent about remembering to maintain the autos on a regular basis and another might be better about making sure there is food in the house.
However, over time, you may fall into a comfortable dance of everything just getting done, without much thought to what part your partner or family members are playing in all the tasks being completed.
Doing the Work of Two
Kent rarely travels without me, so this recent business trip threw me off a little bit. I had to think about all the daily tasks he typically does and add those to my own task list. By the morning of the day after he left, I was filled with gratitude that he would be home in a couple days. I was a little overwhelmed trying to remember all of “his tasks” in addition to my own. It was another reminder to appreciate the people in my life now.
Appreciate the Living Now
Death is a part of life. We can communicate with loved ones after death, but as I’ve repeatedly stated, it’s not the same. It’s wonderful compared to the alternative of never being able to communicate with a loved one after the body dies, but it’s still not the same as communicating with your loved one while he/she is living.
If you’re lucky enough to have living loved ones whom you appreciate, tell them. Show them. Don’t miss the dead at their graveside because you didn’t take the time to love them and spend time with them when they were living.
Remember the Dead
If you’re grieving today, I encourage you to remember your loved one fondly—not for the grand gestures, but rather for the small gestures. Feel gratitude for the time you did have together, even though it is never enough.