Tomorrow is not promised … so don’t ever regret today

In the past few weeks our community has been devastated by loss.

So many lives in their prime and beyond, suddenly and tragically cut short. I am reminded of a phrase that so many shared with me: “We can weep that she is gone or we can smile because she lived!”

The footprints we leave behind are the ones that live on forever. Our positive impact on the lives of others is the greatest testimonial of a life well lived. The brutal reality is that we all share the same inevitable fate – the end of life on Earth. How we chose to spend our days here is what leaves that lasting impression.

For people with faith, the conclusion of Chapter One simply reflects a transition. Some would argue that the next phase is the best one – the icing on the cake. For those with contradictory beliefs, the end of natural life can be much more daunting.

I choose to believe in life after death because it is indeed more appealing, but I also have faith, and I can quite literally feel the spirit of my daughter, Jaiden, within me and all around us.

The reality is that in the early days following a loss, it is difficult to believe in anything. The pain is so completely encompassing and darkly paralyzing it is difficult just to breathe. The moments pass in agonizing slow motion, and the bitter cold outside reflects the numbing cold from within.

There is no magic time frame or gentle healing words that can change anything. But the support and love of the people around us can indeed lift us off of the icy ground of total chaos and into a more peaceful aura of cool numbness. We relish in their ability to feel our pain and share our memories – their willingness to reflect on the life that was lived, not to dwell upon the loss that took our shining star away.

Life is crazy and random. One second can change everything forever. So we must strive to spend each moment of each day in the manner that best represents the memories we want to leave behind.

Some people are simply born with a mystical ability to bring light and love into any room they enter. It hurts the most when these people leave, because no matter how many 60-watts we turn on, we can never replace the light they took with them.

And so it goes that on the days our hearts hurt most and are filled with darkness … the skies of Heaven must be bursting with a brightness so intense and vivid, that we could never imagine. A light so powerful that our retinas would burn from the exposure, yet, we would never feel pain, only ecstasy and rapture.

I believe in Santa, and I believe in heaven, I also believe in angels on Earth. In fact, I was blessed to visit with one last week – a classmate from long ago that was confronted with a terminal illness. She fought valiantly every step of the way, until the disease took her body over. Yet it never took her spirit.

She shines as brightly now as she did in her vibrant youth. She exemplifies in her every actions the positive outreach that so many strive a lifetime to achieve, yet never do.

I can sense that many of the tragic losses in the past month have happened to similar souls. I have no answers as to why, only my guess that heaven needs the light right now more than we do. So I will pick up the pieces and try to be just a bit brighter to balance what has been left behind.

I am dreading the day when my special Earth angel friend moves on. My motivation is selfish … she brings out goodness in everyone around her. She will leave behind a void, yet, I know that where she is headed will rejoice upon her arrival.

And I’m certain that Jaiden has been waiting for her, watching over from above and sending her courage and strength to let go.

Life is fleeting and we cannot get back one single moment. Nor can we take a penny or a possession with us. So live today like this is your very last day.

Tell the people who need to know how much you love them.

Eat that chocolate cake.

Buy that special gift without remorse.

Tomorrow is not promised … so don’t ever regret today.