There are things that happen in all of our lives that are just so painful!  There’s nothing you can do at those times but grieve.  This is a very personal blog post for me to write.  I’m writing it to honor someone who I’ve always loved very much!  I’m, also, writing it in hopes that it will touch your hearts, and help you to realize the importance of celebrating each and every wonderful moment of life that you share with your loved ones.  None of us know how many moments we — or our loved ones — have.

This last Wednesday morning started out like so many mornings before it.  My husband and I took our dog for a walk on a hill near the ocean.  It was a beautiful morning!  Everything seemed to be right with our world.  We had breakfast and then drove downtown to run some errands.  It was just an ordinary day.

We went to our public library, and once inside we went off in two different directions.  I picked out a couple books, and walked over to check them out, when all of the sudden I heard my husband call my name.  Our ordinary day vanished in an instant!  I immediately knew from the sound of his voice, and then the look on his face, that something really bad had happened.  He told me that our niece, Laurie, had just called his cell, and told him that her brother, Michael, was in the hospital on life support.

We went home as quickly as we could, threw some clothes in a bag, and took off for the hospital, a couple hours away.  It was such a sad, painful car ride!  When we got to the hospital, much of the family was there. There was so little we could say, and nothing we could do.

Michael didn’t make it.  He had been ill for just a short time, and then suddenly grew much worse.  By the time they could get him to the hospital, it was too late.  His body was already shutting down.  He was only 45 years old, a devoted husband, and the father of two teenage boys.  He was the most amazing young man, and he died much too soon!

When I married into this large, wonderful family, Michael was just a baby.  I watched him grow into a sturdy little boy, then a busy, popular teenager, and finally into a loving, grown-up man.  He married Kerry, his high school sweetheart, and later became the father to two baby boys, Austin and Derek.  He was a hands-on dad, a wonderful father, who was very proud of his sons!  He had so many personal roles, and he put his heart into each one!  He was a husband, a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a nephew, a cousin, a son-in-law, and a friend to so, so many.  He and his wife loved throwing parties for friends and family, and their home was the gathering place during the good times of celebration, and the sad times of mourning.

The last time that I saw him was for a family celebration of his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, in July.  He seemed tired, but he was just as loving as ever.  When it was time to go, I gave him a big hug and said, “I love you, Michael.”  I’m so glad I did!  I didn’t know then that it would be the last hug we would share.

Everyone who knew him loved him.  He was just that kind of person.  He was a very good man.  Our hearts are broken, and we need time to grieve.  In time, the memories will bring comfort, but right now they bring pain.

I write in this blog so often about the power that we each have to focus on the positive, rather than the negative, and the benefit of counting our blessings, but there are times when the pain is just too new and too raw.  For those of us who loved Michael, all we can do is come together in our love and our sorrow, to share our hearts with each other, and to encircle one another with with caring arms.
 
I’ve written this post as a tribute to Michael, to his goodness, to his love.  “Michael, you are so missed!”

If your loved one is nearby, go over and give the biggest hug you have!  Tell him, or her, how much you care.  If they’re far away, pick up the phone, write a letter, send a text, plan a trip.  Don’t let these precious moments go by with unspoken words of love!  Life truly can change in an instant!

So many of us wish we could once more be wrapped in one of Michael’s big bear hugs.

“We love you, Michael!”

Until next time,

Linda

5 Comments

  • Linda, your post is a beautiful tribute to Michael. I am so sorry for this sad loss in your family. I can tell that Michael was a wonderful person who had a powerful and positive impact on your family and everything who knew him. It’s hard to understand why things happen the way they do. I know you have a deep faith and trust that Michael is at peace now. Thank you for reminding us to appreciate every moment we have with our loved ones. Life is precious. Blessings and hugs!

  • Thank you, Renee. I’m glad that my words touched you. Michael was a wonderful person, and he is greatly missed. I do have faith that he is now without pain, and at peace. It’s the rest of us that are struggling with our pain. You can’t go backward in time. You can only go forward. I’m hoping that we all will have a new awareness of how precious life and loving are, and use that new awareness to really value each moment

    Take good care,

    Linda

  • Linda, this post really touched me. My heart goes out to you and your family.
    My father passed away 2 years ago, and was a man much like how you describe Michael. Just a great, devoted, smart, fun man, husband and dad. I’m still grieving (which will always be there to some extent), but it’s different now. I miss him terribly, but when I think of my dad I now usually break into a smile, or even a full blown laugh, because even stronger than my sadness is my gratefulness for having such a fantastic & funny dad!
    Your tribute post to Michael is so raw and real, and immensely touching. I’m so glad I saw your twitter post and clicked over!

  • Thank you so much, Heidi. I’m glad I decided to put one more reminder on Twitter before I wrote my newest post!

    It’s comforting to me, and I’m sure to others, to read how your sorrow has changed over time. When I wrote this post, my grief was still so new, and as you said, so raw, that much of it was written through my tears. Now, having gone through the services for him: the celebration of life and the graveside service, the shock and rawness has softened, but the sorrow remains. I’ve written a new post today. I’ve included a poem, which is very comforting to my sad heart — and I think will be to others, and also a photograph which we took this morning of a beach sunrise, full of promise for today and all the tomorrows to come. I hope you will enjoy that post too.

    How lucky your were to have had such a great dad! He lives on through you, so be sure to celebrate that.

    Take good care,
    Linda

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