I have tried my entire life to find a way to embrace this mantra. As a child, it was so bad, I would cry at the end of birthday parties just because they were ending. Unfortunately, age hasn’t made me much better at accepting the conclusion.
In order to satiate my persistent loneliness, and my constant need to be a caretaker, I do some volunteering with people that are coming to the conclusion of their life. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a life recently that taught me so incredibly much. I’m not sure I can articulate all the experience meant to me and how dearly I will miss her. This is my attempt.
The humor and outlook she had on everything, in spite of a relatively limited existence, was such an inspiration. It would be so easy to be frustrated by a lot of her situation. In the same circumstances, I fear I would completely shutdown. Not her though. She was the constant joker, even her lack of memory she generally just made a joke of. She would be upfront and laugh off that she had probably met me before.
She would always say that she had led a really great life, and as such, she couldn’t ask for much more. She was so appreciative for what she had. This kind of perspective helped me truly take in everything around me. Merely being able to see a beautiful sunset (she could not do this) or go walk a trail (she could not) made me feel more alive and inspired.
Though I will certainly cry at this conclusion, more than anything, I am so grateful for the memories I have of chatting with her, and then driving home to a beautiful sunset and remembering to appreciate it, in its beautiful simplicity, in that moment that will never be the same again.