This used to be just like any other day, passing uneventfully by until 8 years ago my grandmother passed away, then three years later I am finding myself again frantically making phone calls throwing clothes in a suitcase and trying to make a flight from South Carolina to Minnesota as quickly as possible.
And now tonight five years later, gathering again with family eating together sharing more laughter than tears I can’t help but think how much has changed.
I am to the place now where the sharp pain has subsided, where life has woven itself back into the tapestry of my life and where chances are the mention of Mitch or Grandma will bring warm nostalgia and the desire to share a story.
And as I think about what has changed the most it all revolves around the word more…
If you ask anyone who has lost someone recently what they want it would be more…
More chances to share the love they have
More time to mend the fences that were built to keep a safe distance
More appreciation of the gifts of the ordinary days, the lazy Sundays together, the impromptu picnics in the backyard just because, a moment of appreciation of a shared meal, of having someone to share your day with, the voice at the other end of the line
More appreciation of life as a precious gift
One of the gifts of grief (be it from a death, a loss of a dream, a loss of the life you thought you wanted etc.) is that when your heart is broken open it naturally creates more space for love if you let it. The walls that we have built to keep ourselves “safe” no longer do, and the world suddenly seems like a very difference place and it is up to you how it changes you…
For me so many things have changed…
Hugs are longer and tighter.
Love is more freely given and received.
It is easier to discern what is truly important.
What has gotten me through the past five years without a doubt is the love of friends and family, those who went out of their way to take care of me when I needed it most, those who shared their stories of grief and loss and growth, those who let me be where I was… some days in the darkness of loss, and sometimes in the light of all the gifts that have been shared… all of those who with words, thought and deed held me in love as I stumbled my way through a difficult time.
Today I am more grateful, more appreciative, more overwhelmed by beauty, more present in the moment, more authentic, more honest, more open, more compassionate and more forgiving. Not every day of course, and I have my days when I don’t even want to be with myself… but more days that I live in the place of genuine gratitude for the gift of one more day in this life, of one more day being surrounded by the people I love and that love me so deeply and fully.
So here is to more…
More appreciation of each other right now in this moment.
More fun and laughter.
More enjoyment of each day.
More life squeezed out of each day.
More love, I can hear our hearts cryin’
More love, I know that’s all we need
More love, to flow in between us
To take us and hold us and lift us above
If there’s ever an answer
It’s more love.