The Reality of Loss

I saw this post by a friend and asked if I could repost and they said I could.

The Reality of Loss

When you care for someone you love who is suffering and terminally ill, you can find yourself reaching a point where you change your prayers from healing to prayers for a peaceful passingĀ where they won’t have to suffer anymore.

Naively, you believe that you are ready to let them go; your heart has been broken over and over again as you have wiped their tears of pain, kissed their brows, and held their hands futilely trying to ease their struggles.

And then it happens. Their last breath.

And you are suddenly faced with the reality of that final breath.

No more wiping tears of pain, no more kissing brows, no more holding hands. No more hugs. No more sharing the struggles. No more sharing how much you love them. No more …

The reality becomes moments when that’s all you can think of; you want one more hug, one more kiss, one more chance to say ‘I love you’. (We don’t want what we have until we cannot have it any longer … if that makes sense.)

I know that we are designed to be fighters or those who take flight. Maybe some of us are a little of both. Caring for those we love, even visiting those we love who are dying takes great courage. We don’t want to see them in pain. We don’t want to be reminded of their and our mortality. We don’t want to feel overwhelmed with sadness.

Yet, if we turn away to avoid those feelings, it may very well be one of our biggest regrets, a regret that we won’t ever be able to change. Because once they are gone, we are going to long for one more hug, one more chance to say ‘I love you’, one more time to be in their presence to let them know how much we care.

I am sorry if this post is redundant or ambiguous, but someone shared a comment recently that led me to realize they are choosing to not visit because it is too hard. I truly understand how hard it is, I live it every day. And I am not upset with them or angry, just sad because I know that someday they are going to feel much worst because they missed the chance to connect at this deepest level of love.

I pray for all of us to be able to face our greatest challenges with courage, both for those we love and ourselves.