I just received a heart-wrenching email from a friend of several decades. She asked me to give her any words of wisdom that could help her cope with the impending death of her beloved husband of 35 years.
I have had the privilege of watching the two of them work through challenges, raise children, and build a wonderful life together. After they retired, they traveled and they basked in the love of several beautiful grandchildren. They accomplished these things as a couple. My friend has shared a bed and a home with this man for more than three quarters of her life. And now it is unimaginable for her that he will no longer be here and that she will be alone.
Words of wisdom? There aren’t any. I do however feel somewhat guilty that I am envious of her. She is suffering and she is scared. What could I possibly be envious of, you ask?
To have this level of loss means that she has experienced a level of love that most of us can only dream about. To experience a great love is a gift. Most of us can only hope that we find the one person who will laugh at the same silly things, cry together when facing sadness, and have each other’s back when the world seems like a scary place. Not for a day. Not for a week. But for a lifetime.
There are no words of wisdom. No one can say anything magical to lessen the pain. No one can do anything to make the loneliness go away. All we can do for each other is be a loving, supportive, soft place to land.
During our lifetime, if we are truly blessed and extremely lucky, we will find that one special person who is the love of our life.
My dear friend has found this. And now she must find a way to say goodbye. She needs to find the strength to live her life without Larry. And she will. Life will be much sadder for a while. Life will be much lonelier for a while. The truth is, she will never totally heal from the pain she is now feeling.
Hopefully within time her children her grandchildren her friends and the memories that she and her husband have shared will bring her joy and comfort.
I am sure if you were to ask both of my friends what they would advise other people to do, it would be to laugh and play more. Let go of the small stuff. Keep an open heart. In other words be happy.
We are given a very short time on this earth. Make the most of it while you can. Let go of grudges. Be less angry. Be kinder. It doesn’t matter what the next guy does. Hold yourself up to a higher standard.
We don’t get to choose how and when we die. We do however get to choose how we live and how we love!
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