Thoughts on remembering our loved ones and even the loved ones of our friends
I am well aware of what is going on in the world today, such as the war in Ukraine; The People’s Convoy — whether the one started in Canada, or the one now ongoing in this country to try to make a very important point; the cost of groceries and even the fact that supplies are vanishing from our grocery shelves — yet again; to say nothing of all the other issues that cause us distress and misery at just the knowledge that these things are actually happening in the world today; yet the fact that we may not be able to do anything about any of those issues may cause us still more pain and even sorrow as we read about them or see them on TV.
Still, rather than sigh over the “inevitable” or about those things we personally can’t fix (maybe because they were foisted upon us by those we voted into power and they will continue until we are able to vote in a new batch of people who can understand these issues and not only intend to fix them but who will work diligently at doing just that), perhaps we can work on a few things that we CAN do something about, things that are really up to us, things that can make a difference in our life now and later.
While it will still be up to us to educate ourselves in learning about any candidate who might be running for a position that can impact our lives — remembering that ignorance is often at the root of what we get in our politicians — that is only one part of what we need to do. We still must be conscientious enough to realize that good candidates need our support and our words of encouragement to cheer them on. And while that bit of advice can easily take up a whole column on its own, I want to address those things that can be done now and always, as our life goes on, and cost nothing more than your time and caring.
Have you ever felt kind of down and maybe even sad or depressed when someone you thought was your friend totally ignored you at a time you felt they should “be there” to help you through or even just send you a few words of condolence or cheer? It may be that you didn’t know about their need at the time, but as soon as you found out about the situation, there can no longer be any excuse, unless you yourself were incapacipated in such a way that you couldn’t write, email, text or call, or send word through someone else to get word to that person you know in your heart would want to hear from you.
I once read somewhere that it is never too late to send such a message upon learning of a sadness or tragedy in someone’s life. Even if it is years after the event happened. Believe it and don’t put off sending on those words of comfort to someone who might be needing them. And don’t think that they’ll get on no matter what you do or don’t do.
While no words can ever change the past or bring our loved ones back, they can soften the present just a little bit. If you ever thought that such words wouldn’t help, imagine how you’d feel if you thought you had been forgotten by those you thought should have been there for you and you finally heard from them (or even one of them), years later, and to your horror and surprise you discover that the person really didn’t know about your loss or about your sorrow and couldn’t have been there for you anyway. Perhaps his or her story might be sadder than your own.
Or perhaps one of your friends felt so very ashamed or regretful that they chose to be elsewhere the day that you needed them to be there — or at least to hear from them — and they just couldn’t face up to you.
Usually, one simply would not go to that person because of their original negligence and feeling they would not be able to face them. It was about how they were feeling inside more than how the person they supposedly rebuffed would be feeling. And they might take that feeling to their very own grave.
It may seem strange for me to write about this subject, but I have seen people lose their friends over their own inner feelings, their own hesitancy to do the right thing. While they don’t hesitate to watch the miseries that the TV brings us every night right into our living rooms, they hesitate to make right what they should have done days, weeks, months, or even years ago.
I’ve heard people even make up stories for why they didn’t do the right thing when they had the chance to, but there is no substitute for finally coming to grips with the truth. While your particular situation might be somewhat different from the examples I gave above, you know if there is something you must make right to feel right as you go on with life.
I’ve experienced relatives who would not go to the funerals of their own relatives because the last time they saw them, they had a falling out with them. And I’ve seen people who claimed to not want to be around those who were grieving over a lost loved one because they just wouldn’t know how to act or what to say.
If we — people at large — can feel for those we do not know and never will, and speak to them in our hearts, as we do while sitting on our couches watching the TV, can we not speak to our old friends who are still alive, and tell them how we feel about their loss — which is perhaps our own loss too?
No matter how late, you know it is the right thing to do.
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.