Loss is never a good thing

June 29, 2009 at 8:25 pm 1 comment

This week as promised I’m going to get a little personal. By that I mean I’m going to reveal a little about myself on a personal level. Lately my wife and I have been experiencing the loss of close loved ones. Chris, my wife, in the last month has lost an Uncle and an Aunt. Now, they weren’t young and vibrant by no means, but they were loved by their family and will be greatly missed. We have also had a couple of close friends who have lost their Mothers recently. Loss is never a good thing. Believe me I know.

May 23, 2005 started like any other day. I got up and quietly took a shower and headed out the door to my job at the University of Kansas. My first wife was just getting up as I left. This was our routine as I started at 7:00 am and she an hour later. We didn’t say goodbye or for that matter even acknowledge one another. After all we would see each other that evening, right? Well, not so quick. At 10:00 am I was pulled out of a meeting at work to be faced by a deputy sheriff and my eldest son, Scott. It seems that my wife had just been involved in a fatal car accident.

It’s really hard to describe the emotions one experiences when faced with a sudden loss of a spouse. We had been married happily for 33 years. There was nothing in our lives that would indicate that this was going to happen. It just did.

It took me a few weeks, some counseling, and a roller coaster ride from the very bottom before I was ready for the world again. Fortunately B.J. and I had talked many times about our last wishes. We even had that talk the day before she died. I knew exactly what to do, and that made things easier.

What I did learn from the experience is that there is a life after the death of a loved one. All of us grieve differently and on different levels. Some don’t show emotion or grief. Others take years to get over a loss if they ever do. I found out that life goes on and you can either let it take off without you and leave you behind, or you can grab the handrail and climb back on. That is what I chose to do.

Long story short. I met a new love. She didn’t replace B.J., but that’s not what I was looking for. She is Chris and I love her very deeply, just as I did B.J. We married in late 2006. We are very happy and look forward to many years together. But that’s not the point of this story.

B.J. and I had been in a rut. After 33 years of marriage we had stopped being affectionate to one another and telling each other we loved them. We let the routine of life get in our way. We knew we loved one another; we were very happy together and enjoyed spending time together. We were best friends. It was just that we had taken each other for granted over the years. The one thing I learned from her death is to never take a loved one for granted again. I tell all those that I love my feeling for them whenever the opportunity presents itself. I never fail to let them know that I love them. This is especially true of my new wife and love, Chris. I tell her several times a day that I love her.

So here’s my plea to you. I implore you don’t ever let a day go by without telling your spouse and those around you that you love them. Don’t ever let them think otherwise. One day you could wake up as I did in a whole new world having lost the opportunity to tell someone special to you “I love you” just one more time. Take it from me that’s something you don’t want to live with.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Steve White  |  June 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Nice stuff, Michael. It’s a terrible club to be in and the message you remind folks of here is never to be taken for granted. The upshot is you get to meet some pretty amazing people…like Michael and his lovely wife, Chris.


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