My significant other recently had a death in the family, a sudden death of a close cousin around her age. This is the second time I have been near a sudden death of someone close to me – every other time I’ve been around death we “knew it was coming” and could come to grips with the situation.
Maybe this is obvious or intuitive, but those affected by the sudden death need a stronger support structure, and take more time to deal with the loss. I can’t yet feel empathy (I haven’t had someone directly related to me die suddenly). I know I hurt watching those around the loved one, and seeing their sorrow lived out. They have more feelings of “I should have done something” or “I could have done something different” – they feel more regret about things not said, or not making the most of their last interactions.
My takeaway is trite, but we should savor every day, and savor what we have. We can’t take for granted that we will be here tomorrow, we can’t take for granted that those we care about will be here tomorrow; these are things beyond our control. What we can control is how we deal with those we care about, how we interact with them, what we do to ensure they know how we feel about them, and spend as much quality time with them whenever we can.
I always try to savor my loved ones, my family and my friends and my co-workers. I am not nearly perfect at it, and know I will feel regret if a sudden death situation ever happens to me. We can never get to perfection here anyway, so I will simply try to be more intentional this week about expressing my gratitude, my love, my appreciation of those around me.