I guess it’s my age, but so many people I know have lost or are losing loved ones. Often it is a parent or a grandparent, sometimes someone closer in age like a spouse or a good friend. It comes more often and becomes more likely as we get older.
Having lost my own mother two years ago, I can truly empathize with the loss. I still remember the shock, the sorrow, the numbness that came with her death. The pain never goes away completely, but it becomes bearable. As they say, you don’t get over it, but you get through it, albeit a different person than you were before.
I believe the pain we feel is proportional to the love the person shared with us. The absence from our life is harder the kinder he or she was. However, when the pain starts to subside, we then get to realize how lucky we were to have known that kind of love. We hold on to that love for as long as we live and in that way, they never die.
We can then live by their example and try to share that kind of love with others. For truly, if our death makes people’s lives easier, then we have failed. If we are missed and people are better for having known us, then we are successful beyond any riches or any power.