Less than a month ago, I scrolled my Facebook feed as I too often do first thing in the morning. I’ve always used this time as a quick, easy way to slowly enter a waking state. This particular day’s news in that usually light hearted feed was anything but easy.
A dear friend from long ago had committed suicide the night before. You know those people you don’t see for an unbelievable amount of years, but they stay tightly wrapped in your heart. He was one of those.
We were best friends living in the fun and wild city of Los Angeles in our early 20’s. His infectious laugh and love of life made me adore him more than I had ever come close with another man before. Eventually he moved away, back to his hometown, and soon after that we lost touch.
I thought of him often over the years, wondering how he was doing. Every once in a while I would receive a phone call from him, but thanks to my overwhelming addictions at the time, reconnection was impossible.
Thankfully with several years of sobriety under my belt, we found each other again through Facebook. After many messages reliving days long gone, he asked me to meet him in LA again to revisit some of our old favorite spots. I said no as life was busy and I knew we had plenty of time for that reconnection vacation when things slowed down for me a bit.
That is one of the few noes I will forever regret. Seeing his beautiful face and hearing that incredible laugh is now only in my memories. The possibility of helping him through whatever made him choose to end his life is gone.
The pain of learning about his suicide sent me into a month of busyness. I went away for the dōTERRA convention a few days after that horrifying morning of Facebook scrolling. When I returned, I went out of town with a friend to support her in a difficult loss of her own. Once home, I threw myself into work, spending up to 12 hours a day at my computer.
A few days ago, I woke up sick. By 4pm the next day, sitting on my couch in my pajamas, I realized this sudden onset of illness was pure divine intervention. You know those times we just keep going when He knows what’s better for us? This was definitely one of those times.
It is time for me to grieve. My daughter had just left for her far away home right before I learned of my sweet friend’s death. Those two incredibly difficult life events were eating away at me deep inside while I just kept going. Avoiding. Trying to move forward without dealing with the pain.
I do this often. But my sick body and exhausted mind has reminded me of something I think we all forget. We must stop and take time to grieve. Whether you are dealing with a child moving way too far from home, the loss of someone you love deeply, or anything else that must be grieved, please take the time to heal.
I’ve never been a fan of the words “time heals all wounds.” I can’t say I agree with that. Time definitely takes the edge off, but for those of us who have suffered greatly, we know a small part of us may never return in full.
So that’s what I’m waiting on. Time to take the edge off that intense pain. I’ve cleared my calendar through October of anything non-urgent. Time with my husband and son falls in the urgent category. Business related tasks to fund travel expenses to visit my daughter—urgent. Writing to help process life—urgent.
Anything else can wait. If it’s time for you to grieve as well, think of what is most important for a little while and let everything else step to the side. Those tasks will be there when you are ready to return…
One of my favorite verses:
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
~Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 (NLT, emphasis added)
We only have a certain number of hours in this world, let’s use them wisely. That doesn’t mean filling every minute with productivity. Maybe this exact moment is for us to grieve and cry or it could be for dancing and laughing. Whatever today holds for you, I pray you find peace in the journey.