Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Learning about life...

I recently faced a very sad time. A time that arrived more quickly than I thought and a time when I thought all the big, bad, yucky waves of sadness had washed away for a while. But apparently not.

I was worried when the sadness hit my soul that I might struggle to see through it all. See through all the emotion and the tears and the 'Oh but what if' and the 'I wish I'd got there sooner' kinda feelings. At 26...this last year I have attended 1 wedding and 6 funerals. Yep. 6 funerals. Funerals of friends, family members and lost loves. Old and young. At 26, I thought weddings and laughing at the Best Man speech were my thing. Not funerals and eulogies.

I think I've become a little regimented in the way that death affects me now. I feel like I'm used to the waves of grief as they float in and out and how they change in intensity. One minute it feels like the big, bad angry red wave knocks me off my feet and the next the light, little waves of reflection come and go without much trouble. It's such a funny old thing isn't it? Death? And in one of my moments of reflection I just wanted to share with you what all of this has meant to me, at 26 and 3/4s.

As heartbreaking as each and every persons loss of life is we all learn something from it. Even if we might not realise it to begin with. It shapes us into the people that we are. If we never know what it's like to lose someone then how do we know what its like to truly love someone? Having someone you love taken away from you is the worst pain and panic. A friend who you thought would be by your side forever or a grandparent you have never known your life without. It can completely knock us for six...

But you know what, sometimes we need to take a step back, and sometimes we need to ground ourselves again as to what is really important.

I don't think there is a 'right' way to deal with death. It differs from person to person and circumstance to circumstance. But what has been the biggest thing I have learnt in the last 12 months?

Well, for me it has been how we take our own life for granted so much. We spend all our days worrying, panicking, racing around...when suddenly it can all be over in the blink of an eye. And what is the one thing I realise about all those that I have lost? Not one of them is remembered for the shoes they wore, or the money they had or didn't have in the bank. Each and every one of them is remembered for the person they were. The memories and moments they gave those who are left. We come in with nothing, we cannot take anything with us. But we can make moments matter for those we may one day leave behind.

When all is said and done and our bank balance flashes up with that magic word...OVERDRAWN. And when that last pair of shoes we didn't buy last week have sold out, it doesn't matter.

But if our time was up tomorrow what matters is that we made the effort to spend the evening watching Corrie with Granny or standing at the sideline cheering on our brothers/boyfriends in the freezing cold. That is what matters. Like the saying goes, life is only as good as the memories we make.

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