Usually, the phrase is "Life and Death", but this past month, it's really been death and life around here. We had three deaths in the family and another funeral to attend in as many weeks, which has left me feeling a little like a deer caught in the headlights. I almost don't want to answer the phone anymore.
It took a few days to get back into the swing of things and get my house back in order, and then it took a few more to drag my heart out of the pit it had fallen into, and I'm just now getting to the point of digesting all that we've been through this month.
Death surely does make one appreciate life a lot more, and it reminds us, as nothing else can, just how fragile and precious life is. But that sentiment is so hum-drum, so run-of-the-mill, and uttered so often, it can't be the only lesson here. There must be something else, something deeper and more lasting, or less easily forgotten, less easily pushed aside by our daily routines.
Perhaps it's the simple act of gathering family and those closest to us...reaffirming our ties to one another, sharing our sorrow, sharing our memories, telling and retelling our stories, laughing, crying, sitting together, being together...just being together. Maybe that's the lesson.
Perhaps our routines and commitments have taken over too much of our time. Perhaps we've forgotten to save some time to just be together and savor each other's presence. We're so busy "doing" that we forget to just "be" ... and be together. Spending time together - it sounds so simple, but the demands of life seem to make it almost impossible. We mean to write - we intend to call - we say we'll gather soon, but somehow, other stuff gets in the way.
Doing "stuff" gets us through our To Do lists, but being together does so much more. So maybe it's time to push some of the "stuff" aside and actually gather together for no particular reason, other than it's fun. Maybe we should stop waiting for an "event" and just declare one...it's Saturday so come on over! Sit down, put your feet up, and stay a while. Cut through the initial "how are you's" and get down to the really important things - talking about everything and nothing, sharing and caring, being and breathing and living together, because before we know it, too much time will pass and we may be gathering for another sad event.