We’ve seen so many losses recently. Sudden, unexpected losses. Some of those lost were actors, survivors, musicians, and other creative contributors that enriched our society and culture. Some of those losses were friends and family members. Some had been bravely fighting illnesses, some were killed in accidents, some succumbed to the frailty of age.
My family alone has experienced some of those losses in the last few months. We’ve lost good friends and those close enough to call family, even if we weren’t related by blood. It’s inevitable, these losses, because everyone dies at some point. I don’t mean to be morbid, but it’s a fact of life. No one lives forever, no matter how hard they fight. Sudden loss gives us a shock, makes our heart stop while we process the news. We begin to grieve without the chance to prepare.
These losses remind us how it can all change in the blink of an eye. One day you can be happily living life and the next the lives of those you leave behind can suddenly change.
So, as we grieve the losses, remember that you shouldn’t put off getting your affairs in order. Don’t go to bed angry with your spouse. Tell your children that you love them and are proud of the way they go through life with courage. Remember to teach them how to do those critical things that so many parents do for them these days – cook, clean, mend clothes, fix a broken pipe, change a tire. Remember to teach them manners, how to respect others, how to love unconditionally, how to have lifelong friendships. Set an example for how you want them to live in this world – how to fight for their beliefs, understand right from wrong – and how the right decisions aren’t always the easiest, how to stand up for others, and to set a good example for their own children.
Make your mark today. Prepare to reduce the burden on your family when you go – don’t put off getting your affairs in order. Express your wishes, in writing, about the decisions you want your family to make regarding your health. It’s hard, extremely hard, to discuss these details because no one wants to think about their death. But be brave and get it done now. Even if you’re not ill today.
Remember that suddenly, everything can change.