Hopes And DreamsAuthor: Byron Pulsifer, © 2017
To have hopes and dreams is the desire of millions of people across the globe. But, what happens when some of these hopes and dreams come crashing down?
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 RequestDuring 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 RemorseWe 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 BeganThe 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 TalkIn 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 knew her.
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 memories do not cause open wounds of devastating emotions.
Remember the MemoriesOur 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 AgainFor 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.
Remember ThisThe 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 ShoesThe 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.
Looking ForwardThe death 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.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:Hold tight to memories for comfort, lean on your friends for strength, and always remember how much you are cared about. Author Unknown
When there are no words to say, but know that I'm always here for you. Danielle Duckery
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:4
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