If one thing is certain, it is that the more life changes, the more it stays the same.
Birth. Life. Death. Repeat.
We all finds ourselves in various stages of this evolutional cycle and sometimes think “I don’t know how I could possibly be happier” or “I don’t know how life can possibly get worse”. Both things are possible, and living in the moment becomes a reality we should really aspire to. Things can always be worse. And they can always get better, although the high of life gratification is certainly one worth savoring.
Recently, I heard the words “brain aneurysm” THREE times over two weeks. One beloved sister of a friend passed away. Another beloved friend is in critical condition. The third survived and has beat all odds. I was not close to any of these people, but very close to the people who shared the stories about them. The pain is insufferable in all three circumstances. Insufferable. Please take a moment to reflect on the word insufferable and try to live inside it for a moment. I will never share the pain these friends are suffering, nor will they ever share the pain I felt and relive regularly from having to identify my brother’s dead body at the morgue. We all live through different traumas that make us who we are, who are our story, but none of them match and there are far too many extenuating circumstances to make us ever completely understand the pain someone else endures.
It bears noting that the one consistent observation I have made is that these things put life in perspective for the rest of us. Whenever we experience the loss of one of our soldiers, sisters, brothers, children, parents, etc. there is always someone who is experiencing worse. It forces you to look at life differently and feel gratitude for what you DO have, whether that is your health, a roof over your head, a job, or someone who loves you to come home to every night. Maybe that someone is a loyal dog or cat companion who gives you little trouble, or a kid who doesn’t seem all that bad when life is handing out pink slips. You thank God, or Buddha, or whomever you pray to or maybe just tell yourself that dumb luck is on your side once again.
Stay…on…the…train. We’re getting somewhere.
I have loved and lost many friends over the years. Some are true blue and stand the test of time. They’re not going anywhere. Others come and go for different reasons. The same is true of family. Some will always be there for you. Some will never be there for you. Owning and acknowledging it are fundamental to well being. There’s a few people I miss having in my life, and really wish I could share my current success with that are gone now. There are others that I recognize we had a value to each other for a time, and that time has passed. That’s the purest definition of bittersweet that I know. I share myself 100% with people and have had to learn how to reel that in to protect my feelings. I try, but the reality is I am a writer, a conversationalist, and have a lot to say. I am also an open book, with no shame about my past or future. I would never speak behind someone’s back that I would not say to their face and that is a true statement. It’s cost me a few friends. But I know the ones that truly matter are still here, and one of my dearest friends came back to me after a few years apart. We’ve reconciled the past, and let it go, and our friendship is stronger than ever. We understood how to forgive each other, how to be heard and how to move forward.
Nothing matches losing friends or loved ones to death, with things left unspoken. But it is certainly difficult to walk among the living and miss someone you KNOW is out there, a former chapter of your life, with a character relationship that ended abruptly or over time and is now nothing but a memory. Perhaps it was misunderstanding. Maybe it was intentional. Maybe you decided you were toxic for each other. Maybe you decided it was time to move on. I respect any and all decisions; some were mine, some were yours. We live with them today.
Life is short my friends. Savor it. Every single second. It’s way too short for petty bullshit, misunderstandings, or misinterpretations. Let me repeat that in case you missed it.
Life is short. Don’t waste a single moment.
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