Another year has come and gone for many of us. There are many who are not fortunate to see the beginning of this New Year. It makes me ponder the question of whether these people are fortunate or unfortunate that they are not here. It is all a matter of perspective.
Let’s cover the unfortunate area first. We consider losing our loved ones unfortunate because we love them and miss them, and because their absence is heart felt. With them gone, the entire family structure changes, and friends also undergo critical shifts in their lives. We will continue to live and be affected by their absence until we ourselves leave this earth. We question the universe with “why” and “how could you”, and we begin to think of all the wonderful things in life that our love ones will miss (marriages, births, graduations, picnics, museums, or great movies).
Now why would it be a fortunate thing that our loved ones are no longer here? Many cannot fathom thinking about something so seemingly heartless. But I invite you to think about this perspective. Our loved ones no longer have to deal with heart ache, shame, hurt or despair. They are free from hate, the physical pains of chemotherapy, fighting with inner demons, or bullying. They have also escaped the anxiety of walking down a dangerous path, or wondering if our world ever be at peace. This is a good point to ask ourselves, what has our loved one taught us?
My thoughts on this topic come from my own experience with watching my brother live a healthy life for over 20 years with HIV/AIDS, only to succumb to death from pneumonia. He was not Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King or any other well-known contributor to the world. He was my brother who affected my life and the lives of my immediate and extended families. During his lifetime, I learned to live my life better, freer and certainly take more chances, of which he was often my champion. He has been gone for over three years now, and I often think of something he has said or done to help me down life’s path. He continues to be a part of my journey, and through his inspiration I learn to guide others. I am saddened that he will not be physically here to witness my daughter (his only niece) graduate from high school and then college, or get married. I miss his laughter, his singing and his sharp tongue. But I am glad he does not have to take 25 medications on a daily basis or that he no longer is in excruciating back or feet pain. And I’m glad he is not here to see the insanities of this world.
What are your thoughts on gaining new perspectives in life?