Monday, April 26, 2010

What is Important?

A childhood friend of my  daughter just lost her mother yesterday after a battle with cancer.  This young woman is like a second daughter to me.  I didn't  know her mother well, but I feel sad for her, and the rest of her family.  Her mother was only one year older than I am.  Things like this always make me stop and think about the fact that, all we ever really have, is this one moment in time.  We never know when something will happen and take all those plans made for "another time" and it will be too late.  

How many times have I said I would like to try something, do something, or even tell someone something, but I didn't because I wanted to wait for something else to happen first?  One of the things about growing older is realizing that waiting is not a good thing sometimes.  I have definately been forced to gain patience over the years from the 'want it now' person I was (still am in some ways, truth be told!).  But I also am beginning to realize that putting things off is not working for me, for others, and for certain situations. 

Fear of embarrassment seems to be what holds us back from doing things we feel we should do.   My daughter hasn't talked to her friend for awhile since they both went separate ways to college, and was reluctant to call, or email her about her mother.  She didn't want to bring up something uncomfortable, or awkward, and so was planning to do nothing.  We talked about how that looks from the 'other side,' the grieving person's side of things.  How much it would mean to her friend that she told her she cares, she loves her, and that she is thinking of her.  That a crisis is not something that you have to try to find words to "make better"

Through this process I have realized that I have learned a great deal about dealing with awkward situations myself.  Where I used to focus on making it better and not knowing how; I now focus on keeping it simple.  State the facts.  I care.  I hurt for you.    Can I help?  You can talk to me.  I love you.  These simple words of comfort have been very helpful for me, both as a grieving person, and as someone trying to comfort a bereaved individual.   

Don't let today go by without doing the thing you know you need to do.  Say the words, make the gesture; put yourself out there and take the risk...  Making a difference for someone else, makes the biggest difference for ourselves and our own sense of peace.   By the way, she contacted her friend...  : )

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