I saw a post on Facebook the other day. It asked, ‘If you could have five minutes more with someone who had crossed Over the Rainbow Bridge who would you choose?’ Which then leads to thoughts such as what would you want to say and why…etc. For people who have experienced the loss of multiple loved ones it would be hard to choose wouldn’t it? This post gave me pause. My brain is usually going ninety miles a minute so it was good for me to push my chair back and go park myself in my recliner. That’s right, I actually took the time to ponder the question. I cut the engine and blocked out all other thoughts and concerns and made time for myself.
My first choice took maybe a half-second. As a mother whose child died, I would of course choose Cory. I would want to hold him in my arms and snuggle with him. I would want to tell him how much he was missed and how much his short life influenced every part of my life’s journey. I would want him to know how many lives he has touched and how his life lessons continue to help people…especially parents and sick kids. Mostly I would just want to wrap both of my arms around him.
If I could have just one minute with my mom, I would tell her how much of a hole she left in my life when she died. I miss her daily. I wish I could apologize for not being a better daughter. I would thank her for teaching me to love my children thoroughly. That by her example I have passed a strong work ethic on to my children. How grateful I am that she was my mom. That my daughters and grandchildren see her photos in my home and know that she loved them with all of her heart.
A minute or two with my brother Bobby would give me the opportunity to tell him what a great job he and Lynette did raising two truly wonderful young adults. I would tell him how proud I am of how he overcame his addiction and how the love he shared with Lynette and his kids is an inspiration. I would tell him how much I miss him. I know that he already knew but again, I would tell him how much I loved him.
In a mere 30 seconds I would tell my best friend Alycia how much I appreciate the incredibly positive influence that she showered on Keili and the other Forest Ridge Sacred Heart sisters. I would hug her and tell her how much I miss her. I would give anything to hear her laugh again.
It would be an honor to tell my cousin Johnny how lovely his daughters and grandchildren are! How each daughter has blossomed and chose wonderful partners. I would also tell him that his love for Jeannie is sustaining her and strengthening her faith. And, that he was my favorite cousin too. How he is sorely missed. And finally, what a beautiful day we had on the water spreading some of his ashes into the ocean here off Maui.
Steve’s sister Annie would hear how grateful I am that I knew her. I would thank her too for the example she set for my daughter Keili who loves to do many of the same outdoors and self-challenging activities that Annie enjoyed. I would let her know how well Steve has done and how much she is missed.
I guess the theme of this accidental exercise inspired by the Facebook post was for me to acknowledge how much I miss my loved ones who have crossed Over the Rainbow Bridge. The other part of the lesson is that as grievers we should all make time for ourselves. Stop rowing, cut the engine, drop sail, beach the boat, (a bunch of other boating cliches) and take stock of our lives and our losses. It felt good to take an emotional inventory. I actually felt better after I sat and thought about each person. So, I would encourage other grievers to do the same from time to time. It doesn’t matter how long ago he or she or they died… the missing never goes away. But, if you imagine what your visit would be like it might give you the sense that they heard you… that there was indeed a connection. It sure did that for me.