Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just A Reminder...

I went to my first firefighter funeral today. It was pretty sad. I did not know the man that passed away, but he sure seemed like a WONDERFUL human being that touched so many people's lives. He was the father to hubby's Captain at work. He was a retired Battalion Chief with over 30 years of service.

I was NOT looking forward to hearing the last alarm. I had heard stories of how sad it was (from hubby) but had never experienced in person. Today I did.

Although I didn't know the deceased, I cried a lot. I couldn't help but imagine being at hubby's funeral. As the wife of a firefighter, hearing that last alarm and those can't help but feel...well...I can't even put it into words. It just REALLY pulled at my heart. I had a lump in my throat the entire way home.

The other thing I realized is that not only was I thinking about hubby's funeral and how that could be him at any time - but I started thinking about everyone in my life. My parents. My uncles. My aunts. My friends. Myself. My daughter. We all die. It is inevitable. There is no way around it. It is something we all have no choice but to experience throughout our life. We experience losing someone we love and eventually, we die as well.

I thought about what a lot of people said at the funeral that spoke, and I thought about what I heard from others who have lost someone they love. Those words are usually "I wish I had..." or "I should have..." or "I could have..." or "If only...".

My reminder to you is to NOT wait until it is too late. Say what you need to RIGHT NOW. Say it, write it, text it, email it. Let everyone know how you feel. Let them know as often as possible. Don't say to yourself "I am in a hurry, they know I love them"...take those extra minutes to TELL them. It only takes a few seconds.

If you are having issues with a loved one, make amends NOW. I think about my father who lost his dad recently and I heard him say all of that..."I wish I had..." and the "If only...". He could have made amends, but he didn't. Now it's too late. It's not easy. It is NEVER easy to tell someone how much you love them when they have hurt you. It is NEVER easy to tell someone "I am so sorry for what I did" when it has caused distance. BUT...WHAT IF that someone whom you really want to make amends to dies right now? You will NEVER have had your time. You would NEVER have been able to say "sorry" and move on and bridge those divides. You will only be left with the "I wish I had..." "I should have..." "If only...". DON'T do that to yourself.

Life is sooooooooooooo short. Life is sooooooo precious. You just never know when your turn or your loved one's turn is. Don't "wait" thinking you or another person has a long time just NEVER know. It's so important to let everyone know NOW how you feel.

AND...I sure hope when I am gone that everyone will know how much I love them. I too need to remember to tell people every single day how much I love them and how much they mean to me. That is going to be my new mission. When I think it...I am going to say it - whether that is by text, email, phone call, letter, or in person.

I hope you will all do the same!


Kimmy said...

What a wonderful reminder! Thank you for this. As we both know, you and I are alike in these ways about our loved one. It is so important and in my house, we are ALWAYS saying we love each other. It's a continuous thing here. I gre up with always saying "I love you" and so I make it apart of my little family's life :o)

Now, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how grateful I am to have been able to reconnect with you after all these years! I wish we could get together more and I'm just grateful for having been able to have lunch with you after all those years. Thanks for the friendship!! You are truly a wonderful person!

Wendy said...

Amen to that Denise. Every time I work a fatality (this last time two from the same incident) it reminds me just how precious life is. So tonight, I ate cake! I didn't care if I might gain weight. I don't want to miss out on all of the joys there are in this life!

The Wife O Riley said...

That is very beautiful! Thank you for the reminder.

January said...

I've been to a few firefighter funerals now and your right the final alarm is emotionally heart wrenching and I can honestly say it never gets better. You will always go back to think about your husband and your "fire" friends and think about their final alarm. I lost my mom 1 yr and 5 days ago and I'm 32 today. no matter what you say and do there will ALWAYS be an I wish I had done... Live life and Love hard!

Lace said...

This was such a bitter sweet post! My heart doesn't know how to feel, haha! My brother is a firefighter and Boy is a policeman, so i understand.

I hope your weekend had a few moments of cheer, sweets! :) I'll come back and visit during the week!

MommaKiss said...

Sorry for the loss - good lord, the poor family :(

And hey - Luff YA!

Minxy Mimi said...

I know what you is too short to hold on to petty grievences and hold onto wrongs. Life is precious and I try to tell people or at least show them how much they mean to me often!

My Side of the Story! said...

That is great advice! I am thankful everyday that I was able to tell my father how I felt about him.

Trina said...

Ok..Now I'm sad! You rock as a friend and I love you very much! Life is VERY short. My first funeral was that of my own Mom...and believe me...I wish I could forget! Losing a loved one is the hardest thing ever...My Dad wants a huge rememberance when he a retired Navy man, a retired Fire Fighter, a wonderful father and husband...That is goig to be a tough day for sure...but I know you will be by my side and that means the world!
Great post honey...makes you take a step back and is precious!!

alison said...

Ugh, I NEVER want to have to attend a FF funeral, especially a LODD one. Cringing at the thought.