What if?

bekind

My heart is heavy this morning.

One of my facebook friends (someone who I just had a notable interaction with last week – and who inspired one of my blogs), passed away yesterday.  And from what I understand, she passed away from circumstances (possibly accidental) that resulted in her ending her own life.

(Now, let me just stop here.  I do sometimes think that I shouldn’t blog about something this serious.  But, as I said when I first started this blog and put in my “About My Junk” section that describes this page, this is going to be a “blog about life.”  This is part of life.  And that’s what this entry is going to be about. Life.)

Whether you know a person well or not, when you hear news like this it tends to stop you in your tracks. It makes you look around your own world and ‘take stock,’ so to speak.  It makes you value each and every breath your body is taking in and exhaling out.  It makes you want to grab everyone you love and tell them so.  It makes you want to grab strangers on the street and tell them that they’re loved.  It makes you want to fall down on your knees and thank your God for another day on this earth.

And if it doesn’t make you feel all those things – well, it should.

And you know what else it should make you do?  It should make you be kind to people.  All people.

How do you know that you wouldn’t be that one smiling face that someone would have needed to see – that you wouldn’t hold that one kind word that someone might have needed to hear?

Yesterday I got into an argument with a stranger in the middle of the street. Nope – not kidding.  True story.  It was over who had the right of way when we almost hit each other.  Now, granted – this  person started getting testy with me first (I’m not generally a ‘road rage’ kind of gal), but I could have easily just apologized profusely, smiled, and went on with my day.  But nope.  In typical Melissa fashion, I argued my point and both of us ‘left the scene’ in anger.  And until today, it really hadn’t crossed my mind again.

But now – here it is.

I don’t even know that person!  What if?  You know?  What if that person was just coming home from a funeral?  A chemo treatment?  Taking care of an aging parent?  A dying relative?  What if they had a drug  problem?  An alcohol problem?  What if…

What if they were on their way home to end it all?  What if I could have given the one smile – the one kind word – that would have changed that?

Dramatic?  Maybe.

Maybe not.

What if you, unknowingly, have been the last person someone interacted with before they were gone?  Let that sink in for a minute.

Now, I’m not saying that there should be guilt or that you could have changed anything.  But what if your face – your attitude – was the last display of humanity that someone ever witnessed?

Ouch.

I’m not preaching here.  By no means.  These blog entries are just as much for me as they are for anyone else.  I just know that I need to do better.  Do you?

My heart goes out to the family and friends during this loss.  I know their next few days will be filled with confusion and grief beyond anything they’ve ever known.  I happen to know a little bit about the subject myself.

In closing, I want to post a poem I wrote on another sad March day a few years ago when our family went through this kind of loss.

Poem for Mike
I sat down with pen and paper
To pour out this grief I feel
To try to find the rhyme and reason
And to make this all seem real.
But I just cannot find the words
To move this useless pen
No poem or song could ever explain
Why your life had to end.
What phrase could mend these broken hearts-
What rhyme could make sense of it all?
The pain is too large to comprehend
And my words – they are too small.
I hope you have found that peace, my friend-
That illusion you were seeking to find
While the remaining trudge through the confusion
In this world you’ve left behind.

Hold on to each other tight, folks.  Reach out.  Know what you have.  Look around you – and know it.  Feel it.  Appreciate it.

We truly are the lucky ones.

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