Life: (noun) The period of time or experience of an individual being alive.
By a dictionary, that's what the definition of life is. But life has a different meaning to each and every person you meet. When you think of 'life', what comes to mind? Is it your favorite memories, or the people and places that make up the world surrounding you? Whatever it may be, its what makes your life valuable to you.
How many of you didn't gave your parents a hug this morning? Or left the house on a bad note after bickering with your sibling? Or didn't give your pet a kiss goodbye and talked to them like they're a baby? (Don't even say you don't talk to your pets like they're human because that would be a lie.)
I know I'm guilty of these things, and probably more than I should be. We as humans take everything in life for granted way too easily. You don't think that when your parents drives off in their cars for work that it might be the last time you'll ever see them. You don't think when you tell your sibling to leave you alone that the next day they would leave you alone...only this time they would leave you alone permanently.
Did you ever think that the things that we take for granted, are the things that someone else is praying for?
"I pray for what I want, but rarely what I have." -Lisa Jo Baker
There was a time in my life where I took flushing a toilet for granted. Yes, a toilet. When I was in treatment, we weren't even allowed to flush our own toilets. So when I got home...you can only imagine how happy I was to be able to flush my own toilet (well maybe you can't, because that's kind of weird if you are picturing that).
When loss strikes in our lives, it's like a lightening bolt that shakes the foundation of our makeup and forces us to question if there's anything more we could've done to prevent such tragedy. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Even if you don't see the reason immediately, know that God has a plan. We have no control in that plan. Accepting that not having a say in what the plan is, everything else falls into place.
Why are people so ashamed to cry? Crying is healthy. Crying isn't a sign of weakness. It's the way your eyes speak when your mouth can't explain how things made your heart broken. It's okay to cry. It's okay to be pissed off. It's okay not to be okay. It's part of the grieving process. Everyone has their own way of grieving. Some shut others out, while some let others in. Either way, you do what works for you. Don't let anyone tell you there's a right and wrong way to grieve. There is no time limit, right or wrong way, or anything like that in order to grieve. However, you can't let yourself stay in the dark hole in which you feel you can't come out of unless your loved one is with you. People find themselves stuck in grief and unable to move on all the time. Sometimes this happens because we're hesitant to give up our grief, even after it's run its proper course. We force ourselves into believing that the pain of the loss is the only thing keeping us connected to our loved one, or to feel happy again we would have to put the significance of the relationship you shared with them behind you.
Neither of that is true.
Even when the people we cherish die, our relationships with them live on. We still have feelings about them, memories of the silly things they might have done, or things they would've said in a current situation you're in. Just because the pain of their loss slowly fades over time, their impact on us doesn't have to.
This past week has been a rough one for Sheboygan County. We are grieving over the loss of some incredible individuals. These individuals were all unique in their own way, and left an everlasting impact on all of us. It seems like we only realize how fragile life is when events like this occur. You never think its going to happen to you. This is the kind of stuff you see on the news while you're drinking your morning coffee, not giving it much thought, and proceed on with your day. Are we really ever prepared for death? We may think we are, but you can't tell me that there's one person on this earth that's ever 100% ready to fully let go of a loved one, no matter what state or condition they're in. After attending a candle lighting ceremony last night in honor of one of these individuals, my eyes were truly opened. You could literally feel the love within the group of people there. You know, as much as we all complain about hating each other, we all have each other's backs when things like this happen. We're a family.
So with all that being said, I have a homework assignment for any of you reading this. I want you to soak this all in, stand up, and go give everyone in your house a hug. Hug them long, hard, and tight...and tell them you love them.
This post is dedicated to Eddie, Mr. Slagle, Brianna, and Haley. You all were beautiful people with incredible talents, and will never be forgotten. You all may be gone physically, but your spirit here lives on eternally. Rest in peace. ♥