This post is for everyone, but especially for some people in my family. It's such an important and urgent post that I am attempting to do it from my phone since I can't get to my laptop.
When my sister died last week, I explained to people who asked how I was handling it that I am fine. And I am. I am grieving, yes. But I am not grieving in guilt or remorse. There was nothing unresolved between me and Mike. As a matter of fact, I let my love for her heal my broken relationships with others.
Mike's passing reminded me of what we should all know about life: that we are all Born to die. Some of us won't die of old age and linger long enough to give or receive apologies and speak all the untold feelings of love. Some of us will go quickly and unexpectedly.
Our family has lost so many people I the past several weeks, from the teenager who had so much life left to live to one of our Grands who was blessed with many years. We've lost members to disease and to old age. Death will come, eventually, for each and every one of us - some sooner than later.
The time for resolution of any problems is now.
The time for forgiveness is now.
The time for saying "I love you" is now.
For everything in life, any time other than right now could be too late.
Someone I know and love is still living with deep hurt and a spirit of unforgiveness. A friend of theirs asked them a profound question about this: What positive thing are you getting from holding on to your negative feelings? What good is it doing you?
That's deep. Though it wasn't directed at me, I decided to remember to ask myself that question anytime I am tempted to hold onto something negative.
The sweetest gift my sister gave me when she passed on was my relationship with some members of my family. I had held onto some grudges and pain that I was immediately released from. I wasn't holding those negative things, they were holding me.
I lost my sister, but I gained back some of my neices. That was the sweetest gift Mike left me with.
To Amanda and Tierra: I love you. You are my family. I am blessed by that and I am going to honor my sister Mike with my love for you. I am going to honor myself and my life with that love.
To anybody wanting to hold onto (and be bound by) their negative feelings: I pray for you. I will not push you to forgive, but I'll remind you only once, right here and right now, that if you claim love for even one person who believed in love and forgiveness, you can either honor or dishonor their memory with your choices.
Your love - my love - for anyone only matters right now while we are still here to give it. And I love you. I may not always like you, but I love you. That's a choice.
Forgiveness is hard, love makes its easier. Forgiveness is not forgetting. It's not some magic eraser of pain or disappointment. It is simply not being enslaved to negativity.
Last of all, I will say to anyone who claims to love God: if God loves us, and He does - even when we hurt Him by hardening our hearts towards others - who are we to not love each other?
Thank you, Mike, for teaching me that my past does not have to be my present out future. Thank you for being such an example of love.