I have gone my whole life without ever really experiencing loss. I lost most of my grandparents so young, before I understood what loss was. Later in life I’ve lost people I have loved or cared for or who have touched me in some way or another, but none of whom new my favourite food or what made me laugh. We loved each other nonetheless, closeness does not always instigate affection. At times we have other catalysts like blood and family.
My grandmother, on my mother’s side, we lost her when I was 15 or was it 16. I remember her as a timeless beauty, who had an endless supply of hugs. She would sit for ours smiling and sewing. This is how I remember her. We were never close, but I loved her and mourned her through my mother. In her death I found sadness and peace. She had lived a long life, she aged with grace, with her children all around her, her grandchildren praying for her, this is how a soul should pass away. There were no words I had wished to say, no tasks I had wished to complete.
Years went by before I would lose another person close to me, six or seven years to be fairly exact. She new my favourite food or what would make me laugh, although it was likely she had forgotten, it was eight years since we last saw. I knew her at a time where she missed home, so her favourite foods were mexican and we were 17 so just about anything would make us laugh. Perhaps I should be fairly more precise. Our favourite cafeteria foods were cinnamon toast and salad and our most hated was everything else, especially the yellow curry. Her passing was not so peaceful, it was too soon and too abrupt. People are supposed to pass when they’ve aged with grace, their children are around them, their grandchildren praying for them. There were a million words I had to says and a million things I thought we would do. I was to applaud her at an award ceremony, support her at a wedding, love her little babies, but not before getting lost in celebration one last time.
Months later loss struck again. My childhood nanny passed away. Nobody knew how old she was, we supposed maybe 89. She aged gracefully, with loved ones from different generations praying for her, but none of us were there when she passed. She passed peacefully in her sleep. Her death was unexpected, she always seemed so ageless and strong in my mind. The last time I saw her, I was so busy. If only I had known that was the last time, I would have slowed down. I learned something priceless the day they called me and told me, I was sitting in my office when I shamelessly burst into tears. I learned it it’s never enough to love someone from afar. If you love someone, love them now, call them now, see them now, make new memories now. As for things I wish I had said or done, they were simply too many. That day I cried, went to the bathroom, cleared my eyes, sat back down at my desk and began working. It’s been like this for a year now. I find little gaps in time to mourn, I just cry and regret all the things I wish I said or did, then I clean my face and begin working.
A year later another friend passes away, today to be exact. The third loss in two years. She was 23. They say she was the happiest she ever was. Today that has to be enough.
If you love someone, love them now, full heartedly. Slow down and make time for love.
Share your story in the comments, no one should mourn alone.