This past week, my family had a sudden and shocking loss; my beloved 73-year-old cousin was instantly killed in an automobile accident. Within days, the family gathered for a moving memorial service.
I was particularly struck by a memory my cousin’s son shared in his father’s eulogy. When he was young, his dad had been his soccer coach. A few times, after a game, the two of them had gone to White Castle for sliders and reviewed the game. My cousin remembered that shared experience and described it fondly, with humor.
This simple story jumped out at me as a reminder that the important thing in life is to make time for each other to connect. Many of us are so busy, getting here and there. Yet this story of a son and his father shows us that love – and life – happens in those simple moments. The love that lived between a father and son was palpable as my cousin recounted his memory. Everyone was deeply touched by his love, sorrow and loss.
After the service, the conversations among the community of family and friends were full of honesty and tenderness. There was a powerful, touching rawness to the love and connection we felt for one another as we hugged and cried. Many described the afternoon and evening that we spent together as healing and comforting.
The feelings continued after we all returned to our homes across the country, as heartfelt messages of thankfulness circled around among the family. Reading the email messages, I felt profound love and pride. The unexpected loss reminded all of us of how important it is to cherish every single day and make time and space for the people we love, regardless of what is going on in our lives. I am certainly mindful of that. Are you?