I am sure for those who have been following my blog for awhile
many of you may think – “Oh, she must be doing better –
Her grief most be lighter, her burden not as heavy…”
Or maybe you understand the inner workings of grief
and know that each day is different from the last.
That the reality is… the grief continues to hit just as hard, but less often.
Life gets busy, so I no longer spend every moment wondering the “what ifs”
I no longer torture myself in that way,
and life goes on,
and we continue to deal with other issues –
the normal, difficult questions of life:
- what is my purpose?
- what direction should I take my career?
- after I finish grad school, what’s next?
- who am I going to marry?
- and so on….
But it is also within these questions that Ryane has embedded herself…
as I dream of the children I will one day have,
I think about how they will never meet my beautiful sister…
They will never get to spend time with their fun-loving Aunt…
they will only know her through the stories I will tell.
And of course, I am blessed that they will know their crazy Aunt Kennedy and goofy Uncle Connor,
but it will always feel like their is a void because of Ryane.
And that truly is the permanence of death,
it rings loud and clear in these thoughts,
one second she was here,
the next… gone.
We tend to live life by going through the motions,
we get sucked into the mundaneness of it all.
We turn our lives into checklists and chores,
“Go grocery shopping, do laundry, call mom, finish homework, go to work….”
but what if our lives were to end tomorrow?
Would you have loved the way you wanted?
Would you have spoken to those most important to you?
Would they know they were important to you?
Did you live the life you wanted every day?
Or would you do something different?
Make something else a priority?
The whole point of living is to actually enjoy living.
Not go through the check boxes,
not accomplish the most titles,
not to make the most amount of money,
it’s about loving others and loving them hard,
it’s about giving to those who need it,
it’s about being a good friend when someone is struggling…
I obviously know Ryane did not want to die at the young age of 20 years old,
but I know that she lived every day like it was her last,
She loved harder than anyone I have ever known,
she made sure the ones important in her life felt loved,
she made the lost feel seen and heard,
she experienced the things she wanted to experience,
and pursued her passions unapolegetically.
I have always been one to follow the rules,
but as I continue to go through life,
I have realize there is only one rule
and that truly is to love others…
It does not matter when you figure out what you are doing with your life, or when you get married, or when you have children…
what matters is that you loved hard and unapologetically…
That you used your God given gifts to help those in need,
that you made time for those most important to you.
I know that Ryane had a lot to live for,
but I also know even at the young age of 20,
she seemed to have figured out what life was all about,
and maybe at times she was selfish and a little lost,
but she knew the importance of her love and kindness
and the difference it could make in anyone’s life that she came into contact with.
My question to you and to myself is…
could we say the same at the end of the day?
Do I love without ceasing?
Do I give of myself unselfishly to others?
Or do I fall into the misconceptions of the world?
The world that tells us our worth is seen only through our accomplishments?
That our worth is based on how much money we make?
We need to remind ourselves…
that our worth comes through how much we love
and give of ourselves to others.
That is worth more than anything else in this world.