Pushin’ Up Daisies: How Do I Love Thee

By Tracy Renee Lee

Wow, have you ever had one of those weeks where it starts in a crazy rush and before you know it, what seemed out of control on Monday, turns out to have actually been the calmest part of the week? That has been my week.
As I woke up on Monday, I knew exactly what I would write about in my article. Before I could even sit down to write, however, my topic had changed. I needed a few days to settle down, so I decided I would wait until Wednesday to begin my article. By Wednesday, my topic had changed yet again. What a week. Now that it is Friday, I have decided, I must write three different articles.

My Monday morning actually began two years ago, but that is the topic of my second article. First, I must write my first article. My first article began two weeks ago when my cousin’s husband was diagnosed with cancer. Within two weeks of diagnosis, he passed from that same illness. She and her family are devastated.

As she and I stood at his casket in my funeral home, she reached out and touched his hand. In a barely audible voice, she whispered to me, “I only hope he knew that I loved him.” As tears swelled over the boundaries of my eyes, I assured her that he had.

How very sad to wonder if your spouse knew the depth of your love for him/her. As I drove in the car with my husband the next day, I reached for his hand. I looked at him and asked, “Sweet Pea, do you know that I love you more than life itself and that without you, my life would be over, and I would wither away in loneliness and sadness?” My husband looked at me and asked if there were something he should know about? I assured him that all was well, but that it was very important for me to know, that he knew, that my love for him was greater than my desire to live without him by my side.

As a funeral director, I see survivors who fail to express their love for their loved ones before life slips away suffer great miseries. Unfortunately, life slips away at its convenience, not ours. My dear cousin had no idea that her husband was so gravely ill. When the doctor said, “You can’t go home from this check-up, you have to be admitted to the hospital,” she was surprised. Even then, when her husband died within two weeks time, she was still wondering if it were all a terrible dream. She was waiting to wake up and find relief from her imagination. She told me so numerous times.

Unfortunately, it was not a dream. In reality, she was standing there, beside me, wondering when the last time was that she told her husband that she loved him. Now her opportunities are gone. She cannot reach over as they watch TV and cuddle up to him and say, “Sweetheart, I love you.” She cannot take a cool glass of water out to him as he mows the lawn in the hot summer sun, and give him that sweet look between husband and wife that says, “I was thinking of how much I love you and appreciate all that you do for us.” She cannot even bake him his favorite dessert or fold his laundry for him. Now she waits and tears herself apart because she wonders if he knew that she loved him.

Please do not put yourself in this situation. Take the time every day to reach out to those you love and express your love to them. Do not find yourself standing beside the casket of your loved one wondering if they knew your love existed. That is a miserable place to be. That will be the destruction of your peace, your life, and of your soul.

Do yourself a favor; let go of any past sorrows or regrets. Reach out today to those you love, mend fences, and make sure, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that they know of your love. “Why?” because two weeks from now, or maybe next week, even tomorrow, may be too darn late. It was for my cousin; it could be for you too.

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