In honor of the recent tragedy in Orlando, Fl.
Words cannot express our heartache. To all those who lost loved ones this past weekend, please stay strong and know that we love you.
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There’s never a good time to talk about death. Most of us have experienced death at some point in our lives, some more than others. Whether we’re expecting it or not, it hits all of us and doesn’t give us a choice. It’s hard, it sucks and it puts everyone’s world on hold. Death is probably the biggest fear that no one can control. And we hate it.
So what happens when death waits for us? And I’m not talking about waiting to die, I’m talking about when death waits for us to say goodbye.
We recently traveled to Brawley, California, to visit my great grandpa who was 105, about 25 miles north of Mexicali. It’s crazy to think about how much you can actually do in 105 years. His birthday was on New Year’s Eve and something deep down inside told me I had to see him. I hadn’t seen him in 7 years. He was my mom’s grandpa. She adored him. I adore him. I had been thinking about him for a very long time and I knew, since he was 105, he didn’t have a lot of time left. Even when he was 99 I remember thinking wow! What a life.
Miraculously (and I mean that in all seriousness), my publisher gave me 11 days off in a row. (Keep in mind 11 days off is unheard of in the world of publishing) So I figured this would be my chance to see him, since it’s a four-hour drive. At the time I was short on funds, so I thought about possibly postponing it until my next vacation, but like I said, something told me he didn’t have much time. So I went. And my, was it a sweet time. I got so much out of it.
Three months later, he died.
A lot of times death sneaks up on us, and then there are those times where we expect it, but either way it’s still devastating. Death never really waits for us because no one will ever be ready, but when death does wait until we say our last goodbyes, it’s worth taking note of.
My mom was very sick for a very long time. The Doctors thought they could help her; she was even back to her old self during her last few months. I used to look at her death and think, “I thought I had her back, and then she was taken away from me.” I was angry. I felt cheated. But it was cancer. She was in a lot of pain and although we had high hopes, cancer is fierce and it spread very quickly in an extremely difficult place. As I get older I start to think that perhaps I was not cheated, perhaps those last two months were my chance to say goodbye.
[Dianne Lynn Ornelas ‘mama’]
Some of you may be thinking, “well, my loved one is already gone, how is this going to help me now? I miss them and I didn’t get my chance to say goodbye.” Don’t hold on to that grief; just consider it as a learning experience. It’s life and remember they will always love you.
Do you feel in your gut that you need to see somebody soon? Has someone been on your heart lately? Well, follow your gut instinct and pay them a visit. Pick up the phone and call them. So there’s tension? Bad blood? I think it’s time you get over that. It’s much better than living with a lifetime of regret.
[Great Grandpa Sanchez on his 105th birthday.]
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