I went to the “family viewing” for my friends baby recently. We have been freinds for 35 years. We were babies together ourselves. It was so hard…. at times I had to remind myself to “breathe, in and out, just breathe”. They were actually holding her, and passing her around as though she were sleeping. I just wanted to run away from all of it. I remember wishing the funeral were already over. The funeral itself was even harder for me to take. Every time I close my eyes, I still think of that beautiful baby girl lying in her mother’s arms, and I still have to remind my self to “breathe….”.
It’s often said that our parents care for us in infancy, and in return we care for them when they are old. I already did that too. I quit work and college, and spent 4 years carrying for my dying parents, changing diapers, hand feeding my mom, and feeding my dad through a tube. I was only 20 when dad dies, 21 when my mom let go. I’ve had enough death now. A heart can only take so much loss, and mine has about reached its limit. I guess that’s partly why I live as I do though… always making sure to tell my family and friends that I love them, every time I see them, or even talk on the phone. I’ve often been told “You just love everybody”. I think I just make a bigger effort to let them know. And maybe i do “just love everybody… so what?… at least those people know that someone loves them, and what if I were the only one who ever said it aloud? My biggest thing is know that the last time i saw someone, could really be the LAST time… and I want to know I said it. I want to know that the last thing they heard from me was “I love you”, that I said it, and won’t have to regret the fact that I didn’t. My father shot himself in the head while I was in the next room. I didn’t say I love you… I don’t even remember what he had said to me. i just remember looking back from the door of our den and saying “ok”. Five minutes later my father was dead, and the last thing I said to him was “OK”….I can’t help but wonder all the “what if’s”… but especially ‘what if I’d said “I Love you””…. would he have had second thoughts…. would it have changed his mind? So yes, I say it more than most, but I would never, ever, say it to someone unless I truly meant it. Some people think it’s trivial… I think it’s one of the most important things a person can say.
Sometimes, it means the world….