and then we say, “but… “

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emptychairOver the last few years I have become acutely aware that my generation has reached the stage when we are not only burying our parents but also each other. This is neither good nor bad… it just is.

Death is a fact of life. The older we get, the more prevalent the occurrence.

The younger years of immortality delusion has faded. Replaced soberly by the knowledge that any meet up with a member of my generation or older might very well be the last.

Perhaps this is the one sin we are all guilty of – taking for granted “they” will always be there. We all do it. And when the inevitable happens we attempt to cover up our sin of not spending quality time with the individual with a series of “buts”.

“But he/she was too young!”

“But she/he looked fine the last time I saw her/him!”

Those, and a myriad number of other “buts” populate our conversation when talking about the recently departed. Sometimes accompanied with the gnashing of teeth, an unrelenting flow of tears and even the rendering of garments.

Sure, I could be cruelly flippant and say something like, “A fat load of good all that drama is gonna do now the person is gone.” Look, I understand the sadness of loss. And that is natural. However, that is not what this post is about. I may not be as cruel as the line above but the crux of it is what I’m trying to get at.

I’ve recently had losses in my life with friends & family. And yes, I have felt the loss… but not the regret.

This is only because over the last few years I’ve been mindful of making as many of my encounters with friends and family count. Not because of the “in case they die…” clause/possibility… but more so as an endeavor to maximize as fully as I can… the delight of living.

Part of that is in the communion with others… especially friends & family… of sharing the fullest experience one can in those situations.

Yes, it does take time and effort. Reaching out takes effort. Making the encounter full takes time. Yes, life does get busy… but the reach out is totally worth it. It fills the soul… at least it does mine.

Plus, the encounter does not have to be on the grand scale of an extravaganza. If a face to face is not feasible, an email and/or a phone exchange can be just as rewarding.

Of late it seems as if the more we have access to the modern tools of communication… the less we actually communicate. Some of my friends claim to text a lot. Texting has it’s place… but it is hardly a full experience, is it?

So, do yourself the favor and start taking the time and effort today. Start reaching out and making shared experiences count. Start taking delight in life and living… especially with your loved ones. Neither you nor them are going to be there forever.