Grieving Seasons of Loss
By: Javan
June 13, 2013

Yes, there are seasons in life. Some harder than others. This has been a season of grieving in my life. My father passed away last month and the grief has been larger than anything else I have experienced. It’s hard to quantify this loss in any way. Logic or cause and effect, or analyses don’t matter these days.  Just simple truth….Cause and effect have no place here. Death is death, no matter who you are or who you were on earth. It hurts to lose someone you love, especially a dad.

I remembered his first heart attack…it’s been more than twenty years ago. He was a much stronger person at 50 than at age 70. Sitting next to his hospital bed in the ICU, he looked frail and tired. I wondered, if he had known then, after his first heart attack, how much time he would have left, if would have done life differently.
I wonder…if he had known that he had another 20 years of living a full, active life, would my dad have changed anything. Then I thought about my life. If I knew my “expiration date,”  would I be living differently today?

If you knew your “expiration date” how would you be living differently? If you knew the expiration date of a loved one? Would you change or remain the same in the relationship? My father’s death was sudden, unexpected. This wasn’t a long, drawn out type of illness. We had only 48 hours to adjust to the news before he left this world.

 “Change isn’t something to fear. Change is intended to inspire.” 

This season inspired me and gave me hope for more learning. Taking loved ones for granted and not appreciating moments are part of being normal.Taking life for granted is easy, normal, and part of the human condition. I have experienced being taken for granted AND I have not appreciated loved ones. I refuse to accept status quo. My loved ones are enormously special to me. One of my greatest fears in life was to become a drone, working on an emotional level of “auto-pilot.” So I work very hard at being mindful, conscientious, and painfully aware of how real life can be for me and others. This season of my life included losing my father. Being mindful of aging, relationships, and death have been part of these lessons. Every day has been full of new learning. I am grateful and have enormous respect for this season.

How would knowing you had another 20 years left to live change your life today? How might you live differently?