I was watching a movie the other night where a father passed away, and the four children and their mom were left behind to mourn. They had lost contact with each other over the past few years, and were brought together by their father’s death. None of them really missed having regular contact with their dad while he was living because they were all busy with their own lives. They didn’t miss each other either. But in the week of the funeral, they all slowly realized how important each one is to the other. They realized how much they missed each other despite their qualms. This got me wondering: Does someone have to die for us to realize that we are all connected and important to each other? So many people think no one would miss them when they die, when, in fact, there are so many people who would dearly miss them. Regardless of how they lived their lives and what mistakes they made during their lives. The worst thing is, many of us don't realize that we are missed right now. Alive. That old friend. Your parents. Relatives. They all might miss you more than you realize. Right now.
I know I constantly “talk” to my deceased mom, asking her why she hadn’t taken better care of herself. She drank herself to death, by the way. And I’m pretty sure she did it because she didn’t feel loved enough. She never really trusted that people really loved her or cared about her—especially her two daughters. Sure, my sister and I had major grievances with our mom, and without going into detail about those, we really couldn’t stand her at times. But we always wished she would have understood that, when she left our father, we were just hurt and sad. It didn’t mean we didn’t love her. We wish she had realized that when she wrote hateful emails to us and we subsequently cut off contact for a while to set our boundaries, we still loved her very much. In fact, we loved her so much that it was deeply painful to have a person we loved so dearly behave in such a hateful way. I realize now that she was behaving that way because she didn’t trust that we loved her. She didn’t love herself. Her intense anger at herself was so grand; she couldn’t let herself feel loved by anyone. And she didn't realize that true love forgives all.
When my mom was at her deathbed in a coma, right after it was decided to turn the machines off, and her (second) husband left because he didn’t want to be there, I yelled at my comatose mom. I screamed through my tears, “Guess who is still here, Mom? Not Richard. Your girls are here! We are HERE!” Yes, it was not her new husband of six years, who dragged her down his own alcoholic path. Nope. It was her daughters. We held her sweaty hand all the way until her last labored breath. We were also the ones who spread her ashes at the beach a year later, which she requested in her will, after we got the urn back from her widow (who moved in with his ex-wife two weeks after she died). We loved her so much and still do. After she was gone, all her transgressions were forgiven. Why am I telling you this? She wrecked her life because she never believed we loved her. I think so many people don’t appreciate people until they are gone. They don’t come out and say how they feel about their loved ones because they are scared. They are afraid the love they give won’t be returned. They are afraid they will make fools of themselves. Or they think they won't be forgiven. My mom pushed us away, behaved badly and ruined her life because she didn’t think the love would be returned. She didn’t think she deserved it.
I’d like you all to realize that you will be missed when you’re gone. No matter what you’ve done, how you’ve treated others, you will be missed. In fact, you are missed right NOW. There are people out there right now who wish you would just open up. There are people right now, who are secretly wishing you would keep in touch better. There are people right now who are too afraid to admit it. You know who these people are. We all have them. And you are one of them too. The thing is: We are not perfect. We are all souls having a human experience. This life is our school. None of us are flawless. We are all in the same boat, and we are all connected. There is no risk in connecting with others. You are loved no matter what. Haven't you ever smiled at a stranger on the street? They usually smile back at you, even if they looked pretty grumpy before. It’s because we all are just itching to connect! Make the first move. Let’s all try to pick one of these people in our lives and go tell them how we feel about them. Life is too short to be afraid and hold back.
Let me know how it goes in the comments section!