October 21, 2012 by Amanda Zahn
In light of the recent passing of my best friend’s grandmother, I am going to keep the blog simple this week. I do not know that I had anything specific planned for it anyway, but it feels right for me to support her as best I can – even if it is just a short rambling from me.
The passing of a loved one is usually accompanied by “I never saw it coming,” and this is mostly true. In some cases, we are lucky enough to know the end is coming and can make the most of the time remaining. I saw an excellent example of that this summer.
Generally, however, it comes as a surprise and often with things left unsaid or undone. We all have plans and they are sometimes accompanied with “someday” or “when X happens.” Now, it is not my place to tell anyone to live life to the fullest and stop postponing things that will be regretted later.
We get enough of that crap with those annoying motivational images people keep sharing on Facebook because they think something interesting will happen if they do.
The truth of the matter is that we will always have a list a mile long of things that we should be doing, things that are important enough to note, but not quite a priority that we cancel work or chores to do them. It is impossible to truly clear the to-do list, especially in regards to family.
With this in mind, I can honestly say that there were so many things that I will not be able to experience with my grandmother because I lost her too soon. You know what though? I have some great memories and I was a lot closer to her than some people were to their grandparents.
My experience cannot ease the pain of the loss of my friend’s grandmother, but I know that the relationship they built over the years will remain as strong in ten years as it is today. The memories will never be replaced or duplicated; they will forever serve as a beacon in a life often shadowed with doubt, fear, and sadness.
I may not plead with you to life your life to the fullest or to start doing today what you have been putting off until tomorrow, but I will request that you take a moment and call a loved one. Hug a family member. Tell a friend how important they are to you. You might have them fifty more years, or ten more seconds, but at least you will have this moment on which to reflect when they are gone.
And for Pete’s sake – who the hell is Pete anyway?! – be good to each other. Related or not, strangers or not, we are each fighting our own battles and sometimes a smile from a stranger can make something easier.