Over the last few months, and especially during my son’s funeral service, repeatedly we heard his family and friends share how important it was to Gary to stay connected with them, and he wouldn’t hesitate to fuss at you if you didn’t LOL. One theme that rings true is “Gary was a good friend to so many, as well as a good listener.” No matter how tough and rough he appeared on the outside, “he was loving and had a big heart.” I’ve heard many funny stories, which brought me so much joy and just warmed my heart. These were just a few of Garrick’s attributes that we appreciated about him. Remembering the good times with our loved ones truly helps in the healing process.
James W. Moore, author of When Grief Breaks Your Heart, writes:
“When you lose someone you love, one way to express your love for that person is to pass on his or her influence – to take up and live your loved one’s best qualities; Keep Them Alive.”
On Friday, November 10th, my son came up to my job to see me. As he walked up to the door, I remembered seeing his face; just smiling from ear to ear (he was so handsome and had such a beautiful smile–that was my baby). As always, we greeted each other with a big hug. As we stood there talking in the lobby, I remember thinking how good it was to see him. We began to talk about getting together for my birthday. After our conversation, we parted as always with “I love you Mom; I love you son.” He gave me the biggest hug and we said goodbye. As I began to rehearse that day over and over, the hugs we gave each other were different. That day was summed up by the words of the security guard in the lobby, who has worked in my building since Garrick was a high school student. He said these words, “you both were hugging as if it were the last time you would see each other.” Well, THAT WAS THE LAST TIME I HUGGED HIM, LOOKED IN HIS EYES, AND THE LAST TIME I TOUCHED HIM.
In honor of my loved ones (Gary, Brenda; my sister, and Leon; my brother), will you help me continue their legacy by making every effort to communicate; to follow up on your friends and family? When God places someone on your heart, please don’t delay in calling them. Let them know that you love them. Plan some time to come together and enjoy their fellowship.
I want you to take a moment to journal…write out those good memories of your loved one. Write about their good qualities and attributes. You can live out their legacy by remembering the good times, remembering their attributes, and exemplifying their best qualities in your life.
Take a moment and think of that person you have been meaning to call or go and visit. Please, whatever you do, don’t put it off any longer. Life is just too precious to waste. Believe me, none of our family could have imagined that we would be spending a holiday, a day, one minute, one second without our loved ones.
In short, cherish the life and memories that you had with them and please don’t allow their story to be forgotten.