A few days ago, a former classmate of my husband’s, died in a car accident along with one of his daughters, having fallen victim to a drunk driver. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
This news upset both Aaron and me. It is terrible to know that the life of a little girl was taken away before she even had a chance at it. It is extremely sad to know that a wife lost her husband and a daughter; and daughters, their father and a sister. Also lost were other relationships that this father and daughter embodied.
After the tears are wiped, a double funeral planned and rituals completed, and all the condolences from family and friends answered, it will be up to the wife to make the family seem whole again to the extent that, that can even be imagined.
Little did they imagine that last Christmas was going to be their last, as a family of five. That during this Christmas and every single one after that, there will always be a lingering memory of what happened just prior to that date in 2016.
I look at my own family and I feel so incredibly blessed. I feel so grateful for the life I have been given that my heart fills with thankfulness just thinking of how fortunate I have been. I would be devastated if something was to happen to Aaron or either or both my kids. Yes, I know life will still go on. That, as a Hindu, I read a long time ago that one must not fear death because the soul lives forever while casting away the physical body like old clothes. These words, however, offer little comfort when one is grieving. It takes time to accept any kind of rationalization, the five stages of grief notwithstanding.
There are days when I am angry or upset or just impatient to get on with things when I casually dismiss the many “I Love Yous” my husband still showers on me. Honestly, sometimes I just don’t know what my husband sees in me. He is way out of my league. When upset, I have even said “Whatever” once or twice in reply to him asking, “Have I told you how much I love you today?” (more a statement than a question). I have hurried him out of the garage as he stood by our son’s car side kissing him good-bye because his lingering there would mean I would get late to drop TJ off to school. Is getting somewhere on time really that much more important than a father kissing his son good-bye?
The news of this father and his daughter has been a reminder to me, to both Aaron and me actually, of how fragile our lives really are. We have both become more sensitized to how we take the existence of the other in our lives for granted sometimes. We now kiss deeper, hug harder, and always say our I-Love-Yous to each other and to our kids even more than before. Perhaps the urgency of these emotions or the need to express these sentiments will be lost as time goes by but I really hope they don’t.
Yes, there is a village beyond us and a world community outside our doorstep but when it comes down to it, all we have is each other. Our family. Don’t just love each other. Feel it. Say it. Demonstrate it.
Oh…and get life insurance.