One of the hardest things in my grief process is this: I wish I had been aware of the “last times”. Wish I had known at the time, this is the last time we’ll drive to UCI together (what would we have talked about? What music would we have listened to?), this is the last time we’ll all eat together at the dining table, this is the last time you will hug me goodnight, the last time you will speak to me… those last times just came and went without notice, because I didn’t know they were last times. I want to go back and cherish each one.
Jeff and I were discussing this with friends the other night, and my friend said she would NOT want to know that a certain event (say, a family dinner) would be the last one. It would put too much pressure on her to make it special. And I can understand that. My daughter Anna is a singer-songwriter and poet, like her brother, and I love the way she expressed her thoughts on this subject:
“but I don’t remember the first times, and I don’t remember the last times—I remember only the happy middle, when we were as much ourselves as we ever would be.”
We’ve all heard the cliché: live each moment as if it were your last. We might also turn it sideways: Live each moment as if it were your loved one’s last. Really, it might be.
I miss my son…