Always tell them you love them.

Never hesitate to tell someone you love them.

You never know how quickly something can change, or when the last time you will be able to say “I love you” will be. Don’t leave yourself wondering whether or not you said it when you last spoke. Don’t not say it on your way out the door or before falling asleep after an argument, or feel funny about saying it in front of other people. Tell those you care about that you love them – friends, family, significant others – often, loudly, proudly, happily.

This week we lost a family member very unexpectedly, and the whole situation has sent me into a swirl of thoughts and emotions. I think I am still in shock, a little bit confused about how this actually happened and in disbelief that it actually did happen. I have been thinking so much about my aunt and her daughters as they go through this difficult time without her husband and their dad much too soon, and I hope that if they are reading this post some day that they know how much love my family and friends have been sending them constantly.

How do you deal with situations like this? It is so hard to completely wrap your head around the idea of death and loss; it doesn’t feel real. Writing most definitely helps me cope with things like this, but I still feel mentally tied up. I know “everything happens for a reason,” but it is always so hard to see any reason for something like this as it happens. For now, I will just keep writing to work on untangling these thoughts, and helping my family in whatever ways I am able to.

To my uncle, you were such a wonderful man, and watching you and my aunt build your lives and your beautiful family together over the years was such a joy to watch. We will miss you dearly, but I know you will always be with us and your family. Sending lots of love to you always. Look for a big fluffy shepherd dog up there wherever you may be – he’d be happy to have a friend to play with.

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