Exactly one week and six hours ago, I found out my brother-in-law had unexpectedly died. And here are the lessons I have learned within that week…
- Hold close the ones you love, for you never know when they will be called home.
- Say ‘I love you’ to your spouse, your kids, your friends, your parents. They need to hear it.
- What sucks when a loved one dies, is knowing the ones left behind have to live on.
- Forgive, forgive, forgive. Even if you can’t bear to see the person who caused you harm, wronged you in some way, betrayed you…forgive for yourself. For revenge kills love and breeds hatred. Forgiveness heals wounded hearts and helps us move toward a life filled with grace.
- Don’t harbor jealousy or envy. Remember to keep the grass on your side of the fence watered and fertilized and you will never look towards your neighbor’s lawn again.
- When a loved one calls in agony or sorrow or begging for help, run towards them with arms wide open. But don’t forget about them when times are good.
- Be a presence, even if you are silent. Sometimes, being there is more important than words.
- Put God and Family first and everything else last.
- After a loved one dies remember to take it one breath, one minute, one day at a time. But keep in mind, your story needs to keep being written.
- Remember, remember, remember…all of the good times, all of the times you laughed out loud, you danced, you hugged, you loved the one who died. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to keep talking about your loved, days, months and even years after they are gone. That is the way to keep them alive and to let others in on how your loved one touched your life.
- Accept the fact you may think you have it together, but there will be days where you start crying out of the blue. It’s okay. Just cry.
- Don’t allow anyone to tell you…’aren’t you over it by now?’ Life will get better but the hole in your heart will always remain.
- And lastly, don’t let guilt over ride the life of your loved one. Instead, let memories of their love rain upon you.
P.S. Please keep my sister and her family in your prayers. Thank you.