It’s been awhile since I’ve written a proper blog. I am compelled to write this for a number of different reasons.
August 29th marked the day in which twenty one years ago that I experienced my first time of losing someone that I loved so deeply. I was nine years old and I learned of Sandy W. Mashburn leaving this world.
I wish I could say I didn’t utterly lose control of my emotions but I did. I remember screaming and running. I don’t even know why I was running but I did, all the way to the garage, and I stayed there bawling like the child I was. Then the next year I lost my aunt in a fatal car accident and it was different. I cried but it was more silent and numbing. The year after that, I watched my beloved granny succumb to the disease that doesn’t care who it hurts: cancer.
I found reprieve for awhile until 1996. It seems so long ago but the memory is still there as though it were yesterday. I remember being in the shower, my dad knocking on the door telling me to hurry up, and every emotion I felt at the previous deaths came on full force. It was unreal. I cried in the shower, then I made it somehow to my bedroom where Shirley Jewel helped me get dressed, and then I went numb.
I answered questions at the funeral home without even thinking about it. The funeral I was quiet until the actual day we laid her to rest and Vince Gill’s voice sang out Go Rest High on that mountain.
Becky held me as I cried and no I haven’t forgotten anything of that day. I remember the tears in John Locke’s eyes as he hugged me. I can’t tell you that after over two decades I am completely over it. I can’t tell you that I just don’t think about any of them. I can tell you that I learned very important things from this and it has made me what I am today. Every piece of my heart that broke left behind a scar that I learned from. In no particular order, I will explain these things to you now.
Because everyday someone out there loses someone that they love, adore, and look at as though they hung the moon that lights the sky.
I learned to cherish every moment and remember the good. My teenage years were very dark. I was quiet and hardly ever spoke and, if I did, it was short sentences. I missed my mom and I know that things would have been better if she had been alive. However, she made me a better person because of those things she had taught me, I stopped doing something as I entered adulthood that was quite self destructive. I remembered the smile on her face and the way she brushed my hair. I remembered her laugh and telling me that she loved me and in her eyes, I was beautiful. She always built me up and she wanted me. At one point, she did go through remission and I happened to read her diary. She wrote how happy she was that she would be able to watch us, Clayton and I, grow up and see her grandbabies. Yes, I cried because that’s something just couldn’t happen. When I think of it, it brings home the fact that she wanted us so much and we were loved.
Love is a word thrown around sometimes but this was such a powerful feeling and the exact reason that I feel her, even now, so many years later. I remember those good things, the way she carried herself. I remember my grandfather playing with me outside and his wonderful hugs, my grandmother telling me how important it is to be able to take care of yourself, be independent, and be strong. I remember the yard sales on a Saturday morning at the white house on the hill. My aunt’s intelligence and love for reading.
I learned to take nothing for granted. Every time you see someone, give them a smile.
A kind word really goes a long way.
Don’t waste one day where you can tell someone how you feel because they could be me two decades from now and that memory doesn’t go away.
Smile even though you’re hurting.
I remember how much my mom smiled. She smiled and I run into her old friends from her work when I’m in Covington now and then. They mention her smile through it all. She was kind and in her short life of thirty eight years, she touched so many lives and even when she went through chemotherapy, that brave woman smiled towards me and my brother. She hugged us and wanted to know if we were doing all right.
Death is a part of life and it is a horrible part. You lose people you love and you want to keep them forever.
Unfortunately, that’s just not possible.
What is possible is to take what is learned from those people and keep it so close to your heart, never letting it go. I spent very little time with my loved ones. My mom died when I was fourteen. It’s really not the time that matters, it’s the person. Grief is hard but here’s something I’m going to advice to those grieving. I’m not saying any of this so you’ll stop. Don’t stop until you’re ready to: there isn’t a time limit on how you should feel or when you should stop crying. I still cry sometimes and I probably will for the rest of my life. I miss them and I’d give anything to have them back.
The most important thing they taught me was to do this one thing: live.
Smile, love, cherish every moment with those you love, and don’t take a single second of it for granted because it can be lost in less than a second.
Don’t stop caring about another person because you’re afraid of losing them. When I went through my ‘dark time’, I did that. I pushed people away.
It was miserable. It’s worse to have no one at all. After all, think of the things you would have missed if you didn’t care about the ones that make your life better?
What I mean is, if that person you’re grieving over, say you never met them, how different would your life be?
Do take care of yourself and hug those close to you. Let them know how you feel because tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. Thank you so much for reading and I hope this has helped you if you’re grieving.
Much love and have a wonderful weekend.
P.S. This song helped me out of my depression so long ago. Hopefully, it’s useful to you as well.