“All my friends are dead!” Those heartbreaking words were uttered by a lifelong family friend as we stood together at the the coffin where my grandmother’s body rested. My spirit ached for her as I watched tears fall down those beautiful cheeks. At this point in life my friend was already over 90 years old and had lived a long life full of love and laughter, friendship and memories. She remains one sweetest, most beloved individuals you would ever meet. Yet aside from her devoted son, who stood at her side, she feels alone.
Due to her limited mobility and the passage of time she feels that life has cast her aside. Outside the walls of her home everything moves at the customary pace, while she is sitting still. She can no longer be a part of most of the activities that used to give her joy and community. The community she used to be a part of is also dwindling because over the decades she has watched as, one by one, her friends left this earth.
“It’s so special that you could be here today,” I said.
“I’m not special,” she replied, so I hugged her as tightly as I could to show her differently.
It made me realize that I needed to be intentional about showing her on a regular basis just how special she was. It’s not enough to hug her every chance I get, I need to make the opportunities happen.
Our lives are so busy, and it is easy to get caught up in the flurry of endless schedules. Sometimes that means we sacrifice human connection and waste what little time we have left with those we love. It may make us feel very alone. In the meantime, there may be people who love us who also feel alone.
Life can go by very quickly. If we aren’t intentional about making time to spend with those we care about we may discover one day that it’s too late.
Today I encourage you to make sure that no one you love feels left behind. Slow down and reach out. Go give them hugs, a LOT of hugs, every chance you get. Talk. Listen. Remind them that they are not alone. In the process you just might realize that you are not alone, either.
Jennifer Roberts Bittner
Certified Celebrant/ Life Tribute Specialist
Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service
6500 Iron Bridge Rd.
N. Chesterfield, VA 23234