Don’t hold back “I love you”

Why is it that it’s only after we’ve lost someone who we realize how much they meant to us?  Rarely do we take the opportunity while a person is in our life to tell them how we feel about them.  But once they are gone from our life suddenly we are able to express how much we love them, miss them, value them.  Why is that?

I know I’ve been silent for a while.  It’s not been for a lack of anything to write.  There has just been so much going on that I have found it difficult to get time to sit down in front of my computer.  In my time of silence so much has happened in my life and in the world around us that I had to make time to write.

Like so many people I was shocked and saddened by the death of Robin Williams.  He was the eternal funny man.  His huge smile, boundless energy, and the child-like gleam in his eyes.  He was a genius that changed the world with laughter.  When I heard the news of his passing I am not ashamed to admit that I cried.  I cried because he was one of my inspirations for getting into radio.  His portrayal of Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam made me want to be a d.j. just like him.  I cried because of the demons that he tried to fight and lost against.  I cried because the man who spent his career bringing the world such joy and light couldn’t see his own way out of the dark.  I cried because Robin Williams followed through on what my best friend had almost done two weeks ago.

My best friend . . . how does a person describe why one person is their best friend above all others in their life?  I can’t put our friendship into words, but maybe that is the way love is supposed to be.  But he is my friend, my brother, and he means the world to me.

A couple of weeks ago my best friend, who has suffered from depression for many years, hit a roadblock that he couldn’t see his way around.  The only solution he could see was the end.  He texted me his good-bye and told me that he loved me, but he just couldn’t cause more pain to those he cared about any longer.  I later found out that he went for a walk in the woods near his house, but he had absolutely no intentions of coming out of those woods alive.  Another friend of his went into those woods, found my friend, talked to him, and convinced him to go to the hospital.  I will never know how close I really came to losing my best friend that day.  Part of me doesn’t want to know.  I do know that I am eternally thankful to the friend that went into the woods to rescue my friend and brother.

As my friend sat at the hospital that afternoon all I could think was that maybe if I had told him more often that I loved him he wouldn’t be in that frame of mind.  Maybe if I had been more available to listen to him, or had offered a simple hug . . . maybe . . .

I didn’t cry though.  I couldn’t.  I was too worried about him.  I was in constant contact with his friend that took him to the hospital inquiring about what doctors had said and if my friend was doing alright.  I went into mother-hen mode.

So when I found out that Robin Williams took his own life I was sad for him.  When I found out that he took his own life because he suffered from severe depression and his demons got the best of him . . . all I could think of was my best friend.  The day the world lost Robin Williams I cried for my best friend.  I cried because almost two weeks ago it could have very well been him that succumbed to the darkness.  His friend could have gone into the woods to rescue him only to be too late.

So many possibilities.

So many what-if’s.

So many reasons to look at my best friend and tell him everyday that I am glad he is in my life.  I am better because of him.  Some days his friendship is the only thing that makes me smile.  I am happy that in him I have not just a friend, but a brother, a team-mate in life.

I will admit that I am scared that one day the darkness will come back to his life and he won’t be able to fight back.  I am scared that one day I will get a call telling me that he is gone.  I pray that will never happen.  I pray with all my heart, because selfishly I want him around with me always.

So, again, I ask why is it that it takes losing someone from our life to realize how much they mean to us?  How hard is it to tell the people who you care about that you are happy they are a part of your life?  How many lives can be saved simply by telling someone who you love them?

I dare you, reader, to turn around and look at the person next to you and tell them that you are happy that you know them.  Offer a hug to someone who may be hurting.  Write a note.  Anything.  The smallest gestures can mean the most to those we care about.  It only takes a second to let a person know that you love them.  So, what are you waiting for?

Until next time . . .

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