The loss of someone you love is always very difficult but out of bereavement comes a golden opportunity to examine your priorities and to re-evaluate the way things are done.
The loss of my brother made me think about many things at a personal level and also it gave me the opportunity to think about how a sudden bereavement impacts on others. As I thought about it there were a number of lessons which stood out. I started to think about the many clients I work with and how the lessons created through David’s death might be of value to others. A television programme looking at the last few moments of the people killed in the Twin Towers terrorist attack and the contacts made with their loved ones who knew they were about to die confirmed my thoughts.
One of the things which struck me forcibly was how powerful the impact of the last words shared between loved ones was on the people left behind.
The one thing that really stood out was that the last words spoken between people are the ones which remain for ever with the person left behind. The people receiving phone and text messages from their loved ones in the Twin Towers heard words they will treasure for the rest of their lives. How much they were loved and what high a value the person they were about to loose placed on them and their relationship. It didn’t take away the agony of loosing their loved one but without exception the surviving partner, parent, child or friend gained enormous comfort in the days after their loss from those few loving words.
One thing which has made my brother’s family grief easier is the thought that they had shared a wonderful holiday immediately prior to David’s death. They had in face returned the night before. They have great memories of quality time together, lots of laughter and loving words to draw upon. How different would it be if the last words shared has been argumentative or negative?
Dave was great at keeping in touch with friends and family. This has helped enormously. He was really good at telling people he cared about them. He often sent me a quick text saying “Luv Ya” or “Thinking about you” and it always brought a smile to my face and a warm glow to my heart. I know from talking to others that they share similar feelings.
I thought of all the partners of workaholics I know. It struck me how often the time spent with their loved ones was coloured by their sense of sadness, anger, irritation or loss at their partners work habits. I know the short time they spend together is often quite pressured, and negative words are exchanged or resentments are often shared without any words being spoken.
What were the last words you said to your partner? Think about the past week. What proportion of your conversation was dealing with day to day living? How much was spent nagging or complaining? How much was spent saying something which will have a positive impact on the relationship? When was the last time you told them you loved them and there were no strings attached.
Some simple principles can make a huge difference:
Make sure that no one ever goes to bed or leaves the house on an argument.
When was the last time you told your partner that you loved them – unconditionally?
Texts are a wonderful way of sending a positive message which can be picked up at a time and in a way which is undemanding, never the less the sentiment is just as powerful. A little note in their brief case can do the same thing. Keep it light and undemanding and as always with unconditional love expect nothing in return.
Be sure that what ever happens the words you offer give you no cause for regret
If your anxiety or frustration lead to harsh words, negative body language, if you feel unhappy or dissatisfied with life then it is time to take control of your own life and to do something differently, get some help.
Make every day count and live it fully.
Treasure the people you care about and tell them often that you value them just for being them.