For the past thirteen months, every time I have felt myself start moving on, start getting back to normal life, something happens: another death, another tragedy, another something. When I finally started feeling somewhat okay after Anna's death, Michaela passed away. And after Michaela, it was the call that Mason had died, on and on until here I am again praying for the soul of another life lost too soon. This time though it was my sister who got the call. My sister who was my strength and rock through the deaths of the last year. As I sat and held her while she cried, all I could think was "why us?" "Why is this happening again?" and what am I supposed to say now.
I could go with the responses that I heard all last year. "He is in a better place, a place without pain," or "He is watching over you right now and wouldn't want you to be sad." I could tell her that life goes on even when we don't want it to or that she's a lot stronger than she thinks and can handle this. It is all true and I believe it with every bone in my body, but even still, it doesn't make the pain any less. It doesn't make losing him any more bearable.
If I have learned anything through all of this loss, it is that life is truly to short. I know it sounds cheesy, and the first time someone told me that I probably rolled my eyes, but the truth is, there are so many things that I wish I could've said, wish I could've done while my loved ones were still here. In my conversations with my sister today, I know she feels the same. My mom called today to check in and see how my sister was holding up, and while I explained to her that I was simply at a loss for words, she reminded me that we all needed to stop taking life for granted.
I know I did my weekly inspiration already in which I exclaimed that my family could basically get through anything. While that is still true, there is something bigger that we need to keep in mind. We may not get tomorrow, we may not have another chance to tell the people we love what we need to tell them. So as you all go to bed tonight, think about what you need to say, what you need to do. And do it. Tell your friends you love them, hug your family a little tighter, remind your sister that she is cherished, and help your brother even if you don't have the time. It may be sad, it may be morbid, but live everyday like you won't have tomorrow. Too often there is no tomorrow, and no one is prepared.
As for all those that were affected by this most recent death, my thoughts and prayers are with you always. I only knew him through my sister's stories (there were some pretty great ones), but I know he was an incredible person and that he will be missed so very much. Please be careful everyone, let this be a lesson in more ways than one. Life is fragile, it is not fair, and it can be taken in any moment. I can't take the pain away no matter how much I wish I could, but I can hope for the future. I know that things get better, I am living proof. It is hard, it is scary, and it is so sad; but it does get better. Life goes on <3
Rest in Paradise Aaron Brandt July 5, 2012