During Grief — and During the Everyday Times — Relationships Are Priceless!

two people walking and holding hands_grief support_The last few weeks have been emotional ones for me—but emotional in a good sort of way. I’ve been reminded just how priceless the people and relationships in my life are, not just during the tough times such as grief, but during the everyday times of life.

First, I had the chance to reconnect with an old, dear friend whom I’d lost touch with fourteen years ago, soon after my husband died. She lived in another state and moved, and I lost track of her. Life intervened for her and for me, and she neglected to let me know her new address. I tried to find her and couldn’t. Things happened—she was a caregiver for her mom, and her mom died two years ago; she suffered two significant illnesses herself; and the loss of contact just happened. Luckily, a mutual friend of ours located her, and I called her. Her voice was as familiar as ever. She has one of the most beautiful, soothing Southern accents I’ve ever heard. What a joyful reunion! We picked up without missing a beat.

Last week I contacted some old friends I hadn’t seen for years, and we got together. They were very close to me when my husband died and for years after. We simply move in different circles of people now, so our paths don’t cross. But that’s not an excuse for not seeing each other! Old friends have history. We reminisced, shared stories, caught up on our families, laughed, and cried. It was a precious time together! I realized how much I missed them.

Nothing is more important than people and relationships.  Being busy is not an excuse to put off getting together or calling someone who is valuable to you.

When difficult times come, and sooner or later they do—meaningful relationships with people are what will see you through—along with your faith in God. We need each other. Life is not meant to be lived alone.

When you lose something or someone who means the world to you, the grief that hits you is overwhelming. You need the love, compassion, and support of people you trust and are deeply connected to. Yes, you will meet strangers who are going through the same thing, and you may form an instant and ‘knowing’ kind of bond. However, the significant relationships with loved ones that you’ve developed over time are irreplaceable.

The emotion I’ve felt over these last few days and weeks includes deep gratitude for the special people I’m privileged to know. These are people who love and support me—who believe in what I’m doing and want to see me succeed. Yet, they would be there to comfort me when I fall and when life is tough, and I would do the same for them. There is no substitute for these kinds of relationships. They’d better be in place, too, before you need them. Relationships like this don’t develop overnight. They flourish and grow richer over time.

Don’t get me wrong—I love meeting new people and discovering we share things in common. It’s such fun to realize you ‘fit’ with someone new! Yet, old friends are a special treasure. Don’t take that gift for granted!

© 2012 Judy Brizendine

2 Responses to “During Grief — and During the Everyday Times — Relationships Are Priceless!”

  1. Judy,

    Relationships are precious. When we lose touch with people who mean a lot, it’s painful.

    Like you, I lost touch with two girlfriends who are moving in different circles than we once were. Since my contact information is the same, I know that they have moved into many endeavors than the ones that once drew us together. I look forward to one day being reunited with them and picking right up where we left off.

    Having the space widen between two loved ones is even more painful, especially when it’s mother and daughter. That’s what happened to me about two years ago when my oldest daughter announced she needed time and space to get closer to God. Even though I miss our daily talks, I’m happy that we are still in touch even it is far too infrequently for me. Because I know that she is well, I respect her wishes and look forward to the day we are close again. That doesn’t mean that some days I don’t feel grief over it, but when I do, I recall Khalil Gibran’s words:

    “Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
    For they have their own thoughts. . .”

    • admin says:

      Flora,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and comment. I appreciate hearing about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences about relationships–and the quote you shared from Gibran is beautiful.

      I’ve found that so many things about relationships are puzzling and often don’t make sense to me; however, like you, I have chosen to respect the wishes of the other person, even when I don’t understand. You’re right–when the relationship involves a family member, it’s even more difficult to let them follow the path they’ve chosen, whatever the reason. I just pray that they will find what they’re looking for–and come to terms inside of themselves with the things they’re dealing with. I can stand by in love, but I can’t make the decisions and take the actions for them.

      Thank you again, Flora, for sharing.

      Warmly,
      Judy