“My mother called on Sunday wanting to spend time with me, but I was too busy that day and couldn’t. On Tuesday she died.” As I spoke to the young woman who cried these words, tears filled my eyes. Her mother was her best friend, as is mine. Although I couldn’t relate to her loss, I could relate to their closeness. While she spoke, I imagined that it were me in her shoes; feeling the pain and sorrow of that heartrending loss.
She was overwhelmed with pain, anger and heartache. Her mind swarmed with regrets and self-blame. She should have made time for her mother on that Sunday. She should have stopped her mom from buying that junk car, the one she was later killed in. She should have been there. She should have done something, anything.
She was filled with whys and why now. Why so suddenly? Why my mom? Why so soon?
The pain, she admitted, was almost too much to bear. She was lost and so afraid of tomorrow, knowing that on that day her mother wouldn’t be there. Who would she call? Who would visit her? Who would be ‘grandma’ to her baby?
Other than offering her my support, there was nothing I could tell her. There is no word or phrase that can take away that type of pain. When I lost my stepfather a couple of years ago, people tried their best to soothe me with their words. They had good intentions, but their words fell to the floor. What I found to be the most helpful and really the only thing that helped, was simply knowing that I had a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.
A loss of that magnitude is almost impossible to make sense of. It doesn’t even seem real. The only remedy to that pain, is time. Lots of time and it doesn’t go away. It only eases in severity.
This young woman was not at fault for what happened to her mother. She had no way of stopping the inevitable. But in this tragic event, there is a lesson to be learned.
What we think is important, that task which “must” be done today, is probably not. However, what is important, what we think will still be there tomorrow, may not be.
Loss is difficult, but loss with regrets is almost unbearable. So be careful not to take for granted the time you have with your loved ones. The only day that’s promised to any of us is today, and for some it will be their last. For them, there will be no tomorrow.