Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I have attended more funerals in my life than I care to even think about. I just feel like no matter when it happens we are never prepared for death. The people in our lives feel like they will live forever and so we get comfortable in our lives and we try to not even imagine life without them. It is considered dark or morbid to even discuss death. People will say, "Why are you talking about that?" Maybe we need to talk about loss more often. Perhaps if we talked about the idea or the potential that someone we say we love could one day be gone we would appreciate one another so much more.

Have you ever noticed when someone passes away the family is smothered with love, food, affection, respect, consideration. Then two weeks after the funeral it's back to business. Why is that? Shouldn't that loss draw us closer and make us realize the need to talk and visit more often so that the funeral isn't the only time we get together. Shame on us! We have to realize that life is precious, that is not just a saying. It is the truth.

Think of the nursing homes full of the elderly that never get a visit. They have raised households full of children and grandchildren and now they are alone. Being cared for by strangers. Where are we? We say that work and school and this obligation and that responsibility keep us from paying a visit to the people that made it all possible. Really? What will happen when you are the elderly? Who will visit you? Oh sure you are popular now. Everyone loves to be around you and visit you and talk to you, now. Then it happens!!! I am not just talking about age, that is a given. I mean most of us will grow older. I am talking about illness or depression.

I am pretty sure there will be far more people at your funeral then there were in your day to day life. They will bring flowers. They will stand at the podium with their tissue and their stories (that actually took place years ago) and they will speak as if it was yesterday. Your house will be full of people. Laughing, crying, remembering you and how wonderful you were. How many of those people will say, "I was there with her/him last week at the doctor" or "I came over every Saturday and we had lunch?" Who will be the one in the crowd that says, "I just was over here last Tuesday helping her clean her house, take care of the kids,getting her dressed?" Will the room be full of friends and family that took turns checking in on you? Will the funeral be standing room only for people that you haven't seen or talked to in 15 years?" It doesn't take long for word to spread when someone is ill. I don't care if it is cancer, ms, als, flu. pneumonia, heart condition, people know that you are not well. Will they show up with flowers while you can smell them? Perhaps they will show up when you can not. just think about that!

We have so many opportunities to LOVE EACH OTHER! I know life happens! I have six kids, a grandson, MS, RA, and blah, blah , blah! I never use these things as an excuse when it comes to the people that need me. I may not be able to visit, but i can call. I may not be able to give anything but my voice. The thing is, sometimes that is all it takes. Being lonely is painful. It is like salt to a wound after you have been diagnose with a chronic illness. You feel forgotten. The only time the phone rings is when the bill collector's call. They will eventually go away too.

We have to stop taking people for granted. There is no guarantee that we will have tomorrow to give that kiss on the cheek, that hug, that high five. There is no promise that we will get a chance to make the planned reunion or party. things happen so quickly! A car accident, an illness, a tornado, a shooting, a hole opens up in the ground and swallows you! We have no idea what the next ten minutes will bring. Take advantage of those moments in the day when you are doing nothing and call somebody! Stop by and take groceries or flowers or a hug or a HI! There should be very little regrets when we loose someone we love. If we truly loved them while they were here.

I pray my funeral is full of people that my children know or that they have at least heard me speak of. I hope that my life is a blessing to other people so that they will think of me, care for me, remember me in their day to day lives and just call or text to say, "I was thinking of you." What will you feel in that nursing home? How will you cope after you are diagnosed or after your accident if nobody comes, ever? What will you do if the only contact you have with your old life is the old bills you didn't pay? What if you can't feed yourself? What if you can't bathe yourself? These are possibilities in all of our lives.

We all want to be loved and thought of when we are healthy and happy. Imagine how someone that is not happy and healthy wants to feel. Somebody could use a call from you today, a text, a card in the mail, a visit, just to say, "hey, I am thinking of you." and "I want you too know that you have not been FORGOTTEN."

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