A few days ago, a friend died. And a couple weeks ago, my uncle died.
Both, too soon.
In each case, I felt like I hadn’t connected often enough or in a proper time frame to let them know they mattered.
They mattered to me.
We all matter, of course.
Sometimes though, life gets in the way and selfishly, I live it. I get absorbed in my day to day and forget the urgency to tell those I love and admire that I love and admire them.
My uncle: It’s been several years since I saw him in person, because he and my aunt divorced when I was in high school, but he was a prankster with a goofy smile, infectious laugh, and a big heart. We did keep in touch, but because he lived on the other side of the country, I rarely saw him. And when I found out he had terminal cancer a couple months ago, I did reach out to say he was in my thoughts and prayers. To say he mattered. Nice enough, but really, why did I have to wait until the end to let him know he impacted my life for the better?
My friend: His family had started a Facebook group to keep everyone in the loop when he too, was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. It was nice to have a chance to let him know I was thinking of him and praying for him, especially when things looked grim. Then, a few days ago, his wife posted that they’d made the decision to bring in hospice. Somehow, despite thinking about him and praying for him and his family, I didn’t take the time to send one more message to say Godspeed. To say he mattered.
Now, I’m somewhat wracked with more than a tinge of guilt that I didn’t say more when I had the chance.
Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love. George Eliot
It’s definitely a balance: having that rushing need to tell everyone you love that you love them every moment you think about it, and even when you don’t. Or living life: getting up and walking the dog, doing the dishes, tending the weeds, filling up the gas tank. How to reconcile doing one without sacrificing the other?
That’s the question I’m left with today.