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 bagpipes...you 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 left...you 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!