Death and Kids – We Have So Much to Learn From Both

Death and Kids - We have so much to learn from bothWhy do people have to die?

I know it is part of life and just something that everyone has to deal with, but watching someone go through the grieving process is so heart wrenching.

I have a close friend and former coworker whose husband contracted cancer about a two years ago. After a very hard fought battle he passed away surrounded by his wife and kids last night.

Over the last couple of months as she has shared her never ending battle with me, the reoccurring theme to all of her comments was the constant admonition to live life to the fullest.

Every time I spoke with her I went home and hugged Aaron and the girls a little bit tighter.

She and her husband had a wonderful relationship and were literally two halves of a whole. They loved one another unconditionally and it showed.

Yes, she had regrets, but all of them were tied in with wishing she had enjoyed the small moments just a little bit more. The time she spent with her husband and kids was completely priceless.

Suddenly time had a whole new meaning in their lives.

As I thought about her words last night I couldn’t help but wonder if I were really living each moment of my life to the fullest.

It is so easy to get caught up in my to-do lists, work, family and church responsibilities that I brush off the little things. The little things that are ultimately so meaningful in my life.

I couldn’t help but ask,

“What little things in my life am I missing?”

I realized there were a lot more moments then I expected.

When was the last time I took my grandson outside to play? Yes, it has been over 100 degrees, but who cares, he loves being outside.

When was the last time I called my best friend to just chat? It was over a week ago and we never did connect.

When was the last time I actually planned a formal date with my husband? Unless you count our scuba classes it has been a long time.

The more I searched my mind, the more little things I realized I was pushing to the side. I was always too busy, had too much going on – the list could go on forever.

You know what – ultimately it doesn’t matter either – because it was me that was loosing out. I was the one that was missing out on quality time and experiences with the most important people in my life.

I know that I need to do, I’ve written about finding a work life balance, I’ve written about loving marriages, goals, procrastination, motivation and so many other similar subjects.

What I don’t know is how to actually do what I need to be doing.

There always seems to be something that distracts me from having those priceless moments in my life.

This afternoon I was lucky enough to take my stepdaughters younger sister Ciara to meet the teacher night since her Mom had to work. As I watched her interact with her new teachers and then run up to hug her old teachers I was reminded that kids get it.

They love everyone unconditional and just enjoy being in the moment. She was so excited to see all of her friends and talk to everyone. She wasn’t worried about the dishes at home, the work that needed to be done or all the little insignificant stuff.

She was just happy to be at school. She was happy to reconnect with friends. She was enjoying the moment.

There are so many lessons that kids can teach us.

I realized that although I can never be a kid again, I can take the best parts of being a kid and reincorporate them back into my life.

Today was an introspective day for me.

As I watched a dear friend struggle with the loss of her husband I was reminded that life is too short to live with regrets.

As I watched a child interact with her friends I was reminded that time marches on.

Nothing can replace the the hole in our hearts that comes as a result of death, but we can choose to leave each day with the childlike innocence of youth.  We can choose to live each day with the knowledge the family and friends are all that matters in the end.  We can choose to live each day as if it where our last.

It is time to focus on the little details of life and truly live in the moment.

PS.  The picture is of my nephews who take curiosity to a whole new level.  The find enjoyment in the little things like trying to find bugs and fishes in the water.  I’m going to be more like them.




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