The season of loss can occur at any time, and sometimes occurs at this time of year, when we are already dealing with mostly cloudy, dreary days, and with the demands of approaching holidays that mandate we infuse ourselves and our surroundings with great cheer. Of course, historically those requirements of cheer are the device humankind has adopted for the purpose of dealing with the dreary days. And then, we hear the news that someone we know has gone. And even when one of those friends had achieved the estate of ninety-nine years, and when the other friend has been released from the darkness and pain of dementia, we think of times gone by and shared memories, and go through the prescribed motions of saying goodbye.
Yesterday, as part of the goodbye for one friend, the one who had suffered so from dementia, a daughter stood and shared memories and then, in closing, reminded us all to tell those we love that we love them, as much and as often as possible. And she was right to do so. Because illness and accident and loss can occur at any time, and it is foolish beyond measure to leave those words unspoken, presuming that they are taken for granted, presuming that there will always be another chance to speak.
A writer by the name of George Eliot wrote these words: “I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved …; the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave … and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear.” Goodbye, Augusta; goodbye, Louise.