A very dear friend of mine recently lost someone she was close with. Just like everyone who has to deal with a death of someone they care about, she went through the motions of the shoulda, woulda, coulda, and the what if’s. As we were talking about this, the mention of wishing for one more day came up and it got me thinking.
” What if we had one more day, hour, minute, with our loved ones? Would that be enough?”
Death is always unexpected
Death is inevitable, we know this and we understand it. However even if we get a time frame of how long someone may last, we truly never know when their time is up. You never really know when it’s someone’s last day. This means with each death we are left with some sort of guilt. It’s normal for us to wish for more time with our loved ones. Feeling guilt over not getting one more conversation in, one more hug, or really just one more of anything. These are normal feelings because in all honesty it’s probably the easiest feeling to have.
Obviously when we lose someone we care about we are sad, but I’ve noticed a lot of times we immediately blame ourselves. Like in some way the passing of our loved ones is our fault. Even though we know it’s not true there’s a part of us that immediately goes there. So that’s where the guilt comes from. We blame ourselves for not taking the time to spend one more minute with the one we love. In a way punishing ourselves for something out of our control helps in the grief process.
So back to my original question,
If we had more time would that be enough?
So imagine yourself in a universe where everyone knew the exact moment they will die. In this universe death is expected and there are no surprises, would there still be guilt? If we knew down to the second when we would lose our loved ones would that change anything?
The reason I even say that is because I don’t think it would. I think in a perfect world we would love to say if we had all of the knowledge it would change how we felt, but in all honesty I don’t think it would. Everyone has lives and I don’t mean that in a bad way. If we had the knowledge of knowing when death would come that would be our new excuse. Instead of saying I wish I had more time, it would be oh I still have time to fit in another meal, another conversation, and any other thing we could think of. In the end though we would still have the same reaction after the death. We would still be wishing for more time.
I think the reason for that is because life still goes on after death. We may feel like our personal life has stopped moving after we lose someone, but the reality is our world keeps moving. We continue to thrive because that’s how we survive. However with that reality comes the other part. We have to keep going even if that means going on without that person. New adventures will be happening and we are now grieving that they won’t get to experience that with us. We will no longer be able to pick up the phone to have a conversation about what’s going on. No longer will we be able to share the good and the bad. It always seems that we can have a hundred people around us to share the good news, but it’s not the same when there’s one person missing.
In The End
It’s not the same because just like with anything, once we can no longer have something is when we want it the most. It’s a trait we all have. We all struggle with this on a daily basis, some worse than others. The thought of something being gone forever scares us a little and that’s why death is such a big deal. It’s the reason we want more time.
I don’t think it matters if we were able to get one more of anything. In that moment it would be fantastic, but in the end it wouldn’t be enough. We have to figure out a way to grieve and not put the guilt on ourselves. Death is inevitable there is nothing we can do about that. What we can do though is focus on the time we do get. Be present while we can and enjoy the time we do get. We can grieve the time we are physically losing, but remember that spiritually they are there. They are there watching us, cheering us on during the great times, and grieving with us during the not so great times. So try not to beat yourself up too much, guilt is a normal feeling, but focus on the memories that you still have. They are the fuel you need to keep driving on.