There’s no real way to begin this so I’ll just dive right in.
Over the past 3 years, I have a lost family member who meant a great deal to me. With 2014 being, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst year of my life – with the loss of my grandfather and some very stupid decisions on my part, I’ve been provided with some perspective. I should also mention that, over this semester, I’ve worked in geriatrics as a student nurse, so I have seen death and felt the impact that it brings.
Trying to imagine someone else’s perspective or point of view can be a daunting task for most, and understandably so. You haven’t seen what they’ve seen or gone through the things that they have gone through, but I’m going to ask you, here and now, to try and see my point of view.
When you watch someone who you have known your entire life begin to break down and lose their grasp on reality as their health diminishes – it’s a shock, it hurts, it’s depressing, and often times, you don’t know how to handle it. It’s an experience that very few people, if any, are prepared for because until you’ve felt what it is to have gone through these things, it’s a very hard thing to imagine. I went through this with my grandfather this year and I was not ready for it and I am still coming to grips with it, but as miserable as this experience has been, it has led me to think about some things.
Switching lanes for a second, I want to talk about what I have seen in my experience in geriatrics because it applies as well. After working with people with severe Dementia/Alzheimer’s or just general old age, it makes you start to appreciate some things. When you lose the ability to walk without assistance, eat without assistance, or hell, even go to the bathroom on your own – you begin to appreciate the little things. Every aspect of your life takes on a new shine – the good, the bad, and all of the things in between.
Now let me tell you what I’ve learned from this all. Time is an unavoidable, and let’s face it, shitty part of life. Time is something that no one on this world has enough of. Time for yourself, time for others, time for your family/friends/loved ones, time to sleep, there’s not enough time to go around. And often times, people spend so much of their time wishing things were better for themselves or others (but mostly themselves). We complain to anyone who will listen or just to ourselves because no one else cares about what we have to say. We can’t just stop and look at the world around us and see how incredible it is. Now I understand that I’m writing this from the point of view of someone who has the ability to do this as I know not everyone on this planet has this luxury and that brings me a deep sadness. Every single memory you have, whether it be the worst day of your life or your happiest, a painful or sad memory, a joyous or pleasing memory – all of them should be treasured. Because eventually time is going to start to take them away from you. Time will begin to strip you of the things that made you who you are.
What I’m trying to convey here is – appreciate the present and acknowledge the past and take each day as it comes. Appreciate the little things that you do each day, whether it be picking up a pencil and drawing a picture, cooking food, listening to music, or again, even going to the bathroom because you may not always have the ability to do these things. Time is both our worst and greatest asset and we should all appreciate the time that we do have. Call the ones who matter to you and tell that you love them. Put on your favorite music and relax and enjoy. Think on your past and how you became who you are and try to imagine what life would be like if you couldn’t remember how you became how you are now.
If you bothered to read all of this – thank you. If anything I said struck a chord with you, I’m glad. This is the end of my thought vomit.