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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just Breathe!

Where to begin, today was one of those days that whirl by in a hive of activity.  Off to a workshop first thing in the morning, dealing with traffic and the weather; come home, sit for 5 seconds and then off to another gathering.  Whew!  Breathe!  

As I drove to my destination this morning, very aware of other drivers, road conditions and the weather, I marveled at what was happening around me.  Drivers weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, slowing down, making the most dangerous of maneuvers; crossing from the high speed lane across 3 lanes to take an exit, it was just crazy.  In some cases, I would catch up or pass the very vehicle that had sped by, and my friend and I would just shake our heads and say something like 'wow, they really got far.'  

But how so like our lives sometimes, we race headlong in life, trying to get somewhere and do it quickly, that we forget to take in the scenery.  I am very sure that many didn't notice the hawk flying overhead, or the marshes along the roadside; their focus was to get someplace and do it fast.  We are all guilty of doing this, we rush to work, school or a meeting, get there and rush around the rest of the day trying to get it all in.  We are in such a hurry sometime that we quickly kiss a child on the cheek, a hurried kiss to our spouse, and we wave, not looking back as we rush out the door. 

This hurried life can make the death of a loved one that much more difficult, because we begin to feel guilty, did I take the time, did I say I love you often enough, did I really listen to them, God what was so important that I didn't do this or didn't do that.  The what ifs, should haves, and if onlys can weigh us down, leaving us to feel inadequate, like failures.  But I can tell you they only make the pain and hurt that much more.  All the second guessing in the world isn't going to change anything, know that you did all you could for your loved one.  Rachel died in a car accident, there really wasn't anything I could have done to prevent it, but for months I asked myself, if only I had said this.  I even went as far as telling myself that maybe if she had slept over rather than driving home, she would still be here. Trust me they can haunt your waking and sleeping hours, let them go.  

Easy for me to say, yes and no, it took me a while to realize that all I was doing was torturing myself.  Then I began to look at it from a different angle, what had I done for Rachel?  I realized that I had been there when she needed me, and even when I was busy, I had taken the time to meet her for lunch once in a while.  She found the time from her busy schedule to call home, at least once a week and visited as often as she could.  So I began to realize that I had been there, even when I quickly kissed her good-bye, knowing in my heart, that she knew that I loved her.  I began to let go of the guilt, I began to free myself up, to delve into the memories and I new, truly new, that it was okay. 

As I mentioned before, our emotions take us down so many roads, some are a slow leisurely ride, while others seem to have us careening around some corner, unsure of what lies ahead.  Let them take you where you need to go, but if you find yourself speeding headlong, stop, find a rest area, and just breathe.  If you find that your emotions are so hard to cope with, please find someone whom you can talk to.  Don't be afraid to ask for help, in life we sometimes have to stop and ask for directions.  But the most important thing to remember is that you were someone important to your loved one.  Your lives were intertwined in ways that cannot be explained, even if you didn't see each other that often.  There are bonds in our lives that are strong, regardless of what we feel may be lacking.  Love is a powerful force and it transcends space and time, and 'love never fails.'  We may have had to say good bye, but the love clings to our hearts and surrounds us with their presence.  They are always with us, we just need to slow down, stop, listen and just breathe.  

Blessings! and until we meet again.

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