A friend’s 31-year-old husband was killed in a car accident – hit by a driver going the wrong way on the highway.
A former student got a respiratory infection and died shortly after – She was 25.
Another friend went in for a routine surgical procedure. The surgeon discovered she had cancer, and it had metastasized.
We wake up in the morning, and assume that the day is going to go on as expected. We’ll do our various chores, go to work, see the people we love, tend to details – a day in the life. But things can change in the blink of an eye. We don’t always have forewarning, we don’t really know what will happen next.
We live “as if,” as if our lives will continue to go on as expected. I suspect we’d never get out of bed if we spent all our time thinking about what might happen or things that could go wrong.
But that comforting thought of “everything is fine, and therefore, everything will stay fine” can lull us into complacency. We take things for granted. We let the busy-ness of our lives overshadow the love that binds us to each other. We feel love and compassion, but we decide to tend to that later – first the laundry, and errands, and…
We’ve all heard stories of people, on their death beds, resolving long-standing grievances. That’s an awesome healing moment. But the thing is, we don’t always get to say goodbye. We don’t get that “perfect time” to apologize, or make amends or express our love and affection.
Life happens and so does death. Just as we should all tend to our “end things” like having a will, doing advance medical directives and durable power of attorney, shouldn’t we also tend to the emotional health and well-being of the people we care about? We don’t have to have “loose ends.” We can build our connections and tend to the business of loving one another today.
Take the time to look in the eyes of the ones you love. Say, “I love you.” Say, “I love you,” even when you are mad at each other. It really does matter.
Stop multi-tasking and listen to your spouse, to your children, your friends. It’s the connections in life that bring us the greatest joys.
Don’t miss them.