To have hopes
is the desire of millions of people across the globe.
But, what happens when some of these hopes and dreams come
The day started out in a very relaxed way until the phone rang.
On the phone was a friend of ours who had just lost his wife a week
ago after she had suffered a cardiac arrest. We had attended a quiet
gathering with him just a week ago at a local funeral home.
Here was a friend that had hopes for a future filled with
enjoyment looking forward to countless hours with the one he loved.
Here was a friend that had his dreams for a long future of happiness
and companionship crushed in a moment.
A Friend's Request
During the phone call, he asked us if we would like to come to a
special memorial service to be held at the place where his wife had
worked for many years.
Apparently, from what he told us, there were a lot of people that wanted
to pay their last respects to her and celebrate her life, her smile and
her friendship. These were all the people who were not able to attend
the visitation at the funeral home because it had been for only family
members and a few close friends.
Acceptance With Remorse
We did not hesitate to tell him we would be there and it was our hope
that the memorial service would not cause him terrible emotional
upheaval again. It was our privilege to join him although our
acceptance was not filled with joy but one of remorse for his loss.
We arrived to find a growing crowd of people assembled in the
auditorium and our friend waiting at the entrance.
We entered together and were really surprised by the crowd
that had gathered. They came from all departments and service areas.
Words of Jesse Jackson stuck in our minds, "Hold your head high, stick
your chest out. You can make it. It gets dark sometimes, but morning
comes. Keep hope alive."
The Service Began
The clergy began by greeting everyone to a celebration of our
friend's wife's life. And, it wasn't long before the tears were flowing
steadily from many of the attendees.
Our friend was sitting in front of us surrounded by close friends to
his wife that she had worked with for many years. Our friend began
to sob again so much so that we thought he would totally break down.
But, even though our hope for quiet emotions was shattered,
the gathering of those close to his wife came to him at the end
of the ceremony for a few hugs and soft words of condolence.
Good To Talk
In the long run, it did him good to talk about her again sharing with
many some funny antidotes of their life together. Amongst the many
tears there were smiles and hugs of support.
They were fond memories captured in the discussions with those who
And there were prayers
of thanks for her life and words of thanks
for the positive impact she had on others.
The loss of a loved one is never easy, it never really goes away
but the gaps in one's life start to fill again with other experiences
so that the gap grows smaller and less emotional.
There is never a time of forgetting but, instead, a time when fond
do not cause open wounds of devastating emotions.
Remember the Memories
Our hope is that his path to healing is one where beautiful memories
abound and where new life comes with the morning.
Our friend suffers but not alone - there are friends and family to
help, to talk with, and to spend time together in doing whatever is
required to quell the pain and hurt. Hopes and dreams for the
one he loved may be gone forever but that does not mean that future
hopes and dreams can't be once again attained.
Everything takes time. Everything that hurts passes with time
where each person heals on their own schedule. The pain becomes
less and less but the memories of the past remain not as a stabbing
thrust of a knife but as a tingle of good memories.
Build The Hopes And Dreams Again
For anyone who has lost a loved one, the path to renewal is long
and hard. Reshaping a new life must begin one step at a time.
There is a time for sorrow, tears and longing for one's love to return.
At the same time, though, the realization of one's lost loved one
that will never return is painful.
The road forward is not without its' own reward, however.
Along the way there are blessings
that can be recounted;
there are friends and family that are close at hand but so often
disappear so quickly afterwards returning to their own lives and concerns.
The time to help another friend or family member through the pain,
sorrow and loss isn't only that period of time that is within the first few days
of sorrow. The time for friendship, the time simply to be there to
sit quietly beside a friend or family member is through the weeks
and months that lie ahead.
Walk In The Other Person's Shoes
The period of healing that comes to each of us when that time
arrives requires the solace and companionship from those who bear
witness to the fragility of life. It is the person or persons who make
the effort to visit or to call or to invite the one experiencing the loss out
to a family dinner or a social event. It is a time to keep that suffering
soul within arm's reach gently massaging their fragile self-worth without
their love one close beside them. It is an opportunity to reach out
on a steadfast basis that you would also want someone to reach out
to you when the tables are turned.
of a loved one is tragic. But, while a death is tragic doesn't mean
that there isn't to be future hopes and dreams.
We, as humans, were never meant to be alone. Part of the equation of life
is to be joined in companionship and this means that new life,
new relationships, and new hopes and dreams are all part of the
evolvement as we all make this journey through life.