I lost my sister today. She was happy and healthy and taking good care of herself and when she went to bed last night, no one ever imagined we would never hear her voice again.
Lyf is Short. Too short. We never know when it will end….. and 61 is way too young to see your last sunrise….
As I go through the grieving process and begin the long journey of missing my big sister and thinking of and praying for her wonderful husband, beautiful daughter and her awesome husband, her handsome son and his amazing wife, her 3 grandchildren and another on the way – and her 3 sisters, many nieces and nephews and so many other loved ones…… I find it helps me get through this by focusing on what good things might have come out of this tragedy, this loss, this pain and suffering that we all are experiencing.
JB, I know you are with us in spirit and can read this. I know that though your body has left this earth, you are always here in spirit to help and guide us and as you do, please continue to share your wisdom with those above as you have with us….
You are the oldest of us 5 kids. Your sisters and I miss you dearly and cherish each and every moment you spent with us. You know we are there for your family and we know you are still here for us.
I have had the honor of being your little brother for over 50 years. More importantly, we have all had the privilege of having you as a trusted friend – someone we can go to when things are tough and someone we can count on no matter what.
You have served as our second mom since you were born and you have done so much for all of us we could never fully repay you in any length of lifetime. And of all the beautiful characteristics you gifted the world with – what will always be remembered is how you always took care of us first.
So when I experience this painful sorrow and wonder what we can learn from your infinite wisdom that you have shared so beautifully, it is that the relationships we have with all people in our lives – our family, significant others, friends, business acquaintances, neighbors and even the pizza guy – are priceless and are meant to be cherished rather than thrown away.
By experiencing how you care for others first no matter what, I have learned that regardless of what happens in a relationship, whether we divorce, argue, stop talking, go separate ways or any other version of separation, when we adopt your version of caring, we learn to drop the stories in our minds that the other person did something to us. We learn to drop the stories that cause us to think it would be less painful for us to separate - than to evolve and update our relationship and continue to love in a new way.
When we care about others before ourselves, we drop the ‘what about me?’ syndrome and instead focus on ‘what about them?’… When we focus on ‘what about them?’, we can forgive, share compassion, see their perspective, wear their shoes and understand their story that has caused them to do or feel what they do…without judging them or us.
When we care about others before ourselves, we can accept them for who they are and choose to allow our relationship to change and evolve rather than end. And when we allow our relationship to evolve rather than end, we can be happier and more fulfilled and feel better about ourselves knowing we are still making a difference in their lives and ours – which returns a feeling of gratitude for both at a level higher than we’ve ever experienced before.
JB, as you watch us from above and smile at the wisdom you have imparted in us and flare your nostrils at the poor judgements we are still going to make….. we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for always keeping us on track. Thank you for always keep us organized. Thank you for always caring for us first and thank you for always loving us and being our wonderful trusted friend.
And thank you for reminding us of what is truly important in our lifetimes, however short they may be…..that caring for others first – and loving others for who they are no matter what…. Is what keeps us together and is what helps us love ourselves the most. And how we never know when Lyf is going to end and how important it is to end each and every day with no regrets. There may be no tomorrow…
In your honor, we will remind ourselves to care for others first and allow our relationships to evolve rather than end. We will always remember your smile, your loving heart and your louder than a train horn nose blowing that helped shape us into who we are and who we will become for ourselves and others.
Thank you for being you, JB. We love you. We miss you. Please say ‘Hi’ to Mom and Dad for us as you guys laugh and smile thinking about all wonderful times we had together. Here’s to you!