Our loved one is passing from this world into the next. We gather around and wait. As we wait, we realize this is the last time we will share food, laughter, tears, love, and life with the one we love. We tell the loved one how much we love him/her and how much we will miss the person. Why? Why do we wait until the last hours of a loved one’s life to share how we feel about the person, or to spend quality time with that person? Why not make each day special as though it is the last time we will see the ones we love.
Life is fleeting. We do not know what the next second holds for any particular person. Sometimes we have an incurable illness and know a certain amount of time we will be on this earth. Sometimes we are aware death is near because the person has lived a long full life and the body is succumbing to the ravages of age. However, some deaths are unexpected – a car accident, a heart attack, an aneurysm, an undiagnosed illness, or any number of calamities that can take life. We never know when our or anyone’s time to depart life will occur.
When we think about the frailty of life, we should also think about what the people around us mean to us. We should never put off a moment we can spend with those we love. A missed or dismissed phone call could be the last opportunity to speak to that person. A skipped dinner or an invitation to coffee could be the last opportunity to spend quality time with the person. My dad would say, “If you do not send me flowers while I am alive, do not send me flowers when I am dead because I would rather have the flowers while I can still enjoy smelling and seeing them than to make a show of how much you cared by sending them when I cannot enjoy them.” This saying is not necessarily about flowers, but about how we choose to spend time with those we love.
So many times, we gather at a funeral and shed tears while we voice to others about how the loss of the person will impact our lives. However, we did skip that coffee, that opportunity to spend time with the person while he or she was still here with us. Can we honestly say that the death of a person will impact our lives when we did not spend time with the person; when we did not take the time to celebrate life with them while they still lived. We gather at a funeral to celebrate the life of the person, but we must admit we did not celebrate while the person still lived. Why?
The answer to that why is simple. We celebrate life after death because we were too caught up in our own lives to celebrate with the person while he or she still walked with us. Every moment of life is precious. Yes, life does not end for believers, but the time we can spend with that person on this earth does end. We should make the most of every possible moment we can share with the people we love, instead of putting off time we can spend with them? Life on earth is fleeting. Take the time to make that phone call just to say hello and don’t forget to tell the person how important he or she is in your life. Take the time to visit, dine, laugh, and even cry with that person. We never know when that person will no longer walk among us here on earth.