Thoughts on losing a loved one

thoughts on losing a loved one

Hi everyone. Sorry it’s been a bit since I’ve written. Two weeks ago today we had my extended family over for lunch at our house to celebrate my mom and brother’s birthdays. My 89 year-old grandpa was there, as he was most times when we had family get-togethers. You may remember him from this post when I wrote about the time we flew out to Chicago to see a Cubs game on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Anyway, everyone was over at our house for lunch and we spent several hours talking and laughing over a great meal. My grandpa was the most talkative of the bunch, sharing stories about high school, serving in World War II and traveling the U.S. on epic road trips with his wife and kids. He was sharp and funny and charming, just like he has always been. When he left I hugged him, kissed him on the forehead and walked him out to his car. That night he died peacefully in his sleep. You just never know when the last time you see a person is going to be the last time (in this life anyway) that you will ever see that person.

I’ve written about Time before and how it has a way of quietly opening doors of opportunity early in life. Then, just as quietly, it starts to close them. Each year Time closes 52 doors marked “Weekends,” one marked “Christmas” and one marked “Birthdays.”  You make decisions that put you into a certain career or location and the doors that you didn’t choose get closed.  Your physical abilities change and doors that were wide open in your 20s are now marked “Do Not Enter.”  Your kids grow up and doors like “Bike Riding 101” and “Family Road Trip” quietly click shut.  And yes, you lose a friend or a family member and the doors to those relationships close for good.

We can choose to be sad about those doors closing or we can constantly remind ourselves to make the most out of the time, opportunities and relationships that we still have so we won’t have any regrets when they’re gone. I certainly choose the latter and I know many of you feel the same way. Thanks for following along and for being a part of a great community of readers who want to live intentionally. Have a great weekend and I’ll get back to my normal writing schedule next week.

~ Joe

3 Responses to “Thoughts on losing a loved one”

  1. Mark February 21, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    Hi Joe,

    Thank you for sharing your father’s “celebration of life”.
    I have lost my father and a brother, at too young an age.
    I had trouble with the sorrow and re-enforcing the positive
    of their lives. But I have.
    In a parallel, at my place of work:
    Our company is huge and global.
    We just had a RIF. People were let go, some were re-assigned with very uncertain futures.
    I was lucky to remain “at my post”.
    I liken myself to the “George Bailey role” .
    Particularly this last year I made a big impact for the business,
    which has a promising future, but not with our local facility in mind.
    My efforts have and continue to extend our value and time until
    an inevitable end. The decisions of continuing to make a difference
    each day, yet planning for some big changes and my associated
    readiness are always on my mind.
    My realization about life (in and out of work) is very clear.
    We are mortal and must seize each and every day.
    We will join our loved ones sooner than we think.
    And if you believe in the life after, it is far far longer than this
    brief period here.

    Memento Mori! Carpe Diem!

    • Mark February 23, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

      Sorry Joe -I meant your grandfather.

  2. Joe Hearn February 24, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    No worries Mark. I knew what you meant. Thanks for your condolences and for sharing your story and words of encouragement!

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