The past few days have been incredibly tough. One of my closest, dearest friends (B) lost her sister-in-law, her husband’s sister (S). She was only 27. Yes, only 27. A few years ago S had found out she had cancer only a few weeks before her wedding, heartbreaking. Bone cancer, which then spread to other various parts. Despite all of this she lived a normal life, you’d never know that she was unwell or fighting something so difficult. And what some may say is merciful, she passed away as a result of a blood clot.
Life lesson – Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Often attributed to Plato, it seems that the author of this quote is up for discussion. Frankly I don’t really care who said it, this quote is so true on so many levels. You never truly know what someone else is dealing with, a valuable life lesson.
Babe, Baby, and I went to the visitation. We met a dear friend there, D, and made our way to the appropriate room. We were greeted with numerous friends and family there to grieve with the family, and a tonne of pictures of S at various stages of her very young life. Making our way up to the receiving line my anxiety was rising but then I quickly remembered that this wasn’t about me and my feelings, this was/is about my dearest friend B, her husband, and his family. Upon seeing B, tears were streaming down my cheeks and hers. Our hug was one of those that you never forget – I don’t know who let go first but it felt like one of the most meaningful hugs I have ever given and at the same time received. It was almost as if in that brief moment all of our affection for one another was exchanged and we knew that our relationship would never be the same.
It never will be. We have now entered into a new phase in our relationship, one that is more meaningful, filled with a deeper love and understanding then the friendship that existed before. This isn’t to say that our friendship wasn’t meaningful or all of that beforehand, it was, now it’s just at a different level.
I have spent a long time not allowing people ‘in’, not letting people get close to me. I tend to keep my feelings to myself. I rarely let people know how I truly feel about anything, especially how I feel about them. I find it’s easier to be diplomatic than allow others to know how I feel. There are very few times where I let my walls down and give people a glimpse of who I really am. The walls were down at our wedding, especially during my speech, and maybe they were down at various times, not all that often, since then. It’s been just over a year since the BIG day.
Don’t get me wrong, if you cut me off in traffic I’ll definitely tell you how I feel and it usually is not something that I would say in front of my mother. Unless she’s in the car with me. Then she’d hear it. All of it. It wouldn’t go over well. I did repeat my latest expression to my family doctor at Baby’s check up, he found it funny (told a man to go eat a d**k) but I digress.
Back to the important lessons I’ve learned over the past few days, which I am sharing in order to keep the momentum going, and in hopes to inspire someone else to open up.
Babe and I spent the rest of that day discussing the sadness in a young life being taken, the sadness for the husband who lost his wife before he turns 30, and the sadness in a family losing their daughter and sister long before her time. A parent losing a child is something that I couldn’t even imagine dealing with, and to those who have – bless you.
Baby and I attended the funeral service at the church, Babe could not attend due to previous work commitments. It was a beautiful service. I saw B’s sister, she came over and gave me a hug. I couldn’t hold back my tears. She then made the comment that B was happy that I was there. Those words meant probably as much as me being there meant to B.
It never hurts to let someone know how you feel, you’ll often be pleasantly surprised to know that they probably feel the same. Although there are those times when you let that certain someone know how you feel and those feelings aren’t returned. We take these experiences and move forward.
My friend, D, told me that I am a good friend, I appreciate her saying that because there have been times where I know I haven’t been remotely good. I responded by telling her that we are all good friends, we just keep getting better with the years.
I have a feeling that these moments that test us aren’t over, not even close to being over. They’ve just started and there are more to come. This means that we’ll have more opportunities to show those who mean a lot to us that they make us better people, that they give us life, and that without them we wouldn’t be who we are or where we are. Let us thank them for making us better people, allowing us to grow and change, and giving us more reasons to share love.