Reflection – there is real value in it. This could not be more true than it is now for me. Actually, we all could spend more time reflecting on our paths, historical and current, while living our lives fully.
Reflection Prompted By A Text
Years ago, a text message sent me into deep reflection. Home, nursing a sore knee and contemplating my next move, I was chatting with my daughter on the phone when a Sistah-Friend sent me a message. That was not the one that caused me to think.
My daughter and I continued talking while I checked out the link my Sistah-Friend sent. The multi-functions of smartphones cannot be praised enough. As I shared the information received in that text with my daughter, another one came in. That was the one that floored me. Here is some of what I wrote on my personal Facebook profile about the text and the reflection it caused.
“A former colleague of mine and her partner just returned from holidays last evening. They went to bed but the partner wasn’t feeling on top of the world. This morning, he asked her for a glass of water. She went to get it and upon her return to the bedroom, he was dead.
Death is not something that phases me – not anymore. Not after my time in hospital chaplaincy being with people who are in the process of transitioning. However, occasionally the news of a passing moves me to the core. This one did. The suddenness and the anguish that I am told that my former colleague is suffering. I suspect that I will go be with her as soon as she is ready for visitors. I don’t normally attend funerals but I will go to this one if it is open to the public.”
Continuing the story that I shared on my Facebook profile four years ago:
“The tears are flowing down my cheeks as I write this. I can feel what my colleague and the friend who shared the news are going through. Cannot get into the details but I am taking many lessons away from this experience:
- Never give your life over to a job, stand on your head for an employer who disregards you the minute you ask, “How much more do I have to do?”
- Wherever you find happiness, wrap your arms around it tightly and enjoy it as much as you can and for however long it lasts.
- If you are not celebrated but merely tolerated – leave.
- Make sure you not only tell but show those who love you and who you love that you do every single day!
I can honestly say that I am feeling sad yet, this story and my process also have a freeing element to it.”
History Repeats Itself Somewhat
The reason why I am sharing this again is that the history of the sudden death of a spouse came again and this time so much closer to home. It was my own husband who was murdered and for the past four months, my time has been spent in reflection. The four tips above were uppermost in my mind, even as the tears flowed copiously or the walls felt as if they would close in on me.
Here is what have I done with each and again suggesting that you do the same.
Since July 2020, my life has been my own when it comes to employment. The outbreak of COVID-19 and illness sent me home since March. In addition to that, however, my husband’s sudden departure sharpened my resolve to once my health returns, to never again give my life over to a job. That was the first tip.
Daughters of Sheba Foundation gives me joy, almost as much as my two granddaughters, although I do not get to see them as much as I would like. My arms and yours as well should be completely wrapped around anything and everything that makes one’s heart sing. Tip number two.
The third tip I cannot overstress! Leave, get up from, let go of any place, person or thing that does not celebrate your presence!
My husband texted me five minutes before he was fatally shot. Do you know what he said? “I love you my darling, Claudette.” Every opportunity he had to say that he took it. If there is no other lesson that I would like to leave with you today, it is the fourth tip – “Make sure you not only tell but show those who love you and who you love that you do every single day!”
Take The Time And Do It
Please, stop and reflect on your journey so far. Creating space for reflection in your life can help to “course-correct,” especially when things seem to be out of whack or confusing. However, I find it a useful thing to do even when things are “going well.”
Peace and Love,