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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

'You've Got a Friend in me....'

Family, friends all important people in our lives.  We depend on them, call to say hello, and even feel annoyed at them at times, but most of us wouldn't trade them for anything.  They are a part of us and we are a part of them.  For the most part, we cannot pick our families, we are pretty much stuck with them, but even at their worst, we still love them.  Friends on the other hand, are chosen by us, they compliment who we are, have similar likes and dislikes, for so many of us they are mirrors of ourselves.  

When someone we love dies, these are the people we turn to, the ones that somehow helps us.  I have stated it before, my family and friends were unbelievable during those darker days.  They called, stopped by, cooked or just sat with me.  They tried to help me with my pain, and even waited patiently during my outbursts.  Yes, some annoyed me to no end, and I am sure I was quite curt with them, but bottom line, they were trying to do whatever they could to help. 

These are also the people that we sometimes take for granted.  We see them often enough and just think I do not to say I love you, or your the best, because they know, besides I'll see them tomorrow, next week and so on.  But what if there are no tomorrows, what if we don't get another chance.  We need to live each day with a sense of finality as if this is it.  

I always wonder as I go through my day, how many people really notice the clouds, the bird soaring way up high, the young mother pushing a stroller, children laughing as they head to or from school, the elderly person trying to cross the street.  So many of us are so engrossed in what we need to get done that day, that sometimes everything around us is one major blur.  

Death can really make you take notice.  Death stops us in our tracks, makes us take stock of our life.  We realize just how fleeting life is and how much we squander on a daily basis.  We throw it all away to worry, rushing and planning for the next day, that we forget to live for today.  The death of a loved one can really shake us up, especially when we look at how we have been living our lives.  How pre-occupied we can be at times.  It is akin to being splashed with a bucket of cold water, we are suddenly aware, very much aware, we look around and take it all in.  

But yet I have met so many people who even after dealing with the death of a loved one, still continue to take others in their lives for granted.  It may be a defense mechanism, away to avoid future hurt and pain, or it may simply be that they are avoiding any reminder of how uncertain our lives are.  I have spoken to so many individuals who tell me that their reactions and those of their closest relatives and friends were totally unexpected.  Some reported that their family member began to drink, others abused prescription medication, some began smoking, I have even been told that gambling and similar vices were distracting.  With these situations, the family members stated that by giving into vices, they were able to numb the pain, forget about what happened, even if it were for a short while.  

These are all ways of coping and dealing with death, separation, and loss of any kind.  It helps obscure reality making life seem more bearable.  If you or someone you love has developed dependencies on alcohol, drugs, or other substances and vices, look for help.  Remember that only when you admit that you have a problem, can you help yourself.  That is also true for your loved one, they must recognize that they have a problem in order to seek help.  

Be understanding and patient, they like you are in pain, and have been unable to find a way to release their pain and suffering, so they turn to what feels good, what makes them forget, even if temporarily.  Alcohol and prescription medications, like sleeping pills and anti-depressants are easy targets.  It is not to say that all drugs are bad, on the contrary, they can be very helpful, when used correctly.  I took a sleeping pill, and an anti-depressant, it helped me during the most difficult times.  As I began to feel hope, to feel that I might actually survive, I was weaned of these medications.  But some people cannot stop, don't want to stop.  

Be patient with yourself and others, know that it is not an easy process.  It does have it's dark days, confusing moments and elicits a sense of insecurity, but in time we begin to learn to live without our loved one, we learn to go on.  We do not forget, we allow them to live on in our hearts.  We let our family and friends know that they mean so much to us, that we need them in our lives, and that they are someone who we know we can turn to.  I hope you all have a family member or friend, in whom you can confide, who you can share your fears and insecurities, and above all who understands even when you are at your worst.  

So let your family and friends in, let them love you as only they can, and always know that they are there to make sure you are okay and when you are not they are there to carry you, until you feel strong again.  Allow yourself to grieve, to live through the pain, looking for that light at the end of the tunnel.  

So remember:

You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me

And you're miles and miles
From your nice warm bed
Just remember what your old pal said
Boy, you've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me
You've got troubles, well I've got 'em too
There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you
We stick together and we see it through
You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me

Some other folks might be
A little bit smarter than I am
Bigger and stronger too
But none of them will ever love you the way I do
It's me and you
And as the years go by
Boys, our friendship will never die
You're gonna see
It's our destiny
You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me

by Randy Newman, 'You've Got a Friend in Me.' 

Life is a precious gift, open it and enjoy it and do not take any moments for granted.

Blessings! and until we meet again. 

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