Monday, December 13, 2010
Last week, I stood in a room surrounded by unfamiliar faces yet familiar feelings. In the corner of the room were the few faces that were familiar and to see their expressions, brought an empty feeling. I approached them and gave them my condolences for their loss, knowing that nothing I could say would bring them peace at this difficult moment. As I walked into the next room, I was reminded of the times in my life that I had loss someone close to me, in particular, my dad. I remembered the feeling of desperation knowing that this was something so permanent that no one could ever change. I found myself alone with my thoughts, sitting just outside the viewing room. Here I was, on a Thursday night, sitting alone at the wake of someone I had never personally met. Why? As you probably already have figured out from my writings, I always want to know why. I want to know the deeper meanings of the simple everyday events. I ask myself, “What am I suppose to be learning from this experience?” As I sat there, more familiar faces arrived. These were faces that less than a year ago, were not so familiar. As I stood up to greet them there was sincerity in our happiness to see one another. As we sat around talking, I found myself focusing on the relationships and could'nt help but notice, that these relationships were “real”. I found it odd since most of them had been formed over just the last couple years, yet they were more “real” than others that I had for many years. As we sat around talking, I found myself recognizing that the “realness” of these relationships, were a direct result of the people I was choosing to form relationships with. Most importantly, I found myself truly appreciating these relationships that had been so recently formed. I was grateful for having the opportunity to not only know these people but to experience their friendships. It was at that moment that it struck me. As this year comes to an end, it was a reminder of all the things I needed to be grateful for. It should go without saying that while at a wake you should appreciate life, (not only yours but all of those close to you) but in addition to life, we should never take for granted our relationships and how important they are to us. I look at life a little different than I use to. Normally I would have felt burdened and cheated out of a Thursday night but as I drove home that night, I thanked God for giving me the gift of appreciation. The wisdom to appreciate all the things in my life and I was only saddend that it took a wake to awake me. From this day forward when someone mentions going to a wake, I will say “awake” in my head, and it will bring me clarity.