“Live life with kindness and empathy for the pain in the world.” As Nature is harsh, so can be the actions of people. Wise teachings from the beginning of time have directed our thoughts toward a gentle touch for those in need. Wars are fought over the distinction of meanings. As some say this is the way of the world.
Approaching 59 years of age, I often understand the fragile moment of each word spoken in anger, meanness, spite, jealousy, deception, frustration, and fear. The complication of action and reaction to these emotions shakes the essence of hope. Hope that love is stronger. Hope that there is someone who will reach out to us in our moment of need, to allow us to be at peace when all thunderous storms of reality and chaos have befallen us. We reel from the actions and words of man or force of nature.
As my father approached his final days, we looked at each other for the last time in a hallway of an assisted living facility. He thanked me for bringing him a card and we parted with one final “See ya later”.
Later, of course, never came. When my Uncle Frank called me later that week and told me my Dad died I was still shocked even though I had known for years that this time was approaching. Throughout the past year our family was strained with his gradual mental and physical decline and worsening severity of the disease process. Now he was finally at peace. And I was thankful for the time we had taken advantage of long ago to discuss his wishes and plans for his final days. With everything already set up and planned out, the impact of the loss was more easily soothed with the connection of the love we had shared and time to grieve with those who knew him. There were no uneasy questions to ponder, no long, drawn out settlement concerns, and no emotionally charged debate over what “Dad would have wanted”. Uncle Frank and I knew exactly what Dad wanted. Despite the vacancy created by this loss in all of us, there was a feeling of love and joy of memory.
At Caring Choices, we encourage the hope for everyone to have such an experience. To know that no matter how difficult the loss is felt, there is no complicating avalanche of unresolved issues to now address. The “last Loving Act,” as I have heard this called, is to make sure your loved ones know how you wish to Live Life.
(c) 2013 Caring Choices