Say What You Need to Say (for CRV)

A lot of you know I once worked as a hospice chaplain.

Death.  When it comes close to you or someone you love, it makes wild demands.  As wild as taking their life, it also dares your life.  It reminds you that, yes, your days really are numbered.  And your numbers will, at some point, run out.

Of course, you know this.  You know that you and everyone you care about will not live forever.  Heck you/they may not even live long.  But we would rather not think such morbid thoughts, so we pretend.  That we will always get one more “do-over” moment.  Lazily, we keep some of our most important thoughts and feelings (the ones about love, forgiveness and hope) to ourselves… assuming we will be able to say them tomorrow, or put them in the next Birthday/Mother’s Day/Anniversary card.

We get a window to say the thing we need to say, and we keep quiet.

I created this post to say something I need to say, to CRV, a FaceBook friend.  CRV and I went to high school together more than 20 years ago.  Like millions of people, we found-and-friended each other, and occasionally give a glance or a Thumbs Up to a status update.  No biggie.

Until a couple days ago, I took some time and read through CRV’s FB wall.  Based on comments, I could tell she and her family had lost someone very close to them about a month ago.  I felt like one of those rubber-necked onlookers who stare at vehicle accidents, but I still looked through her photo albums.  And I cried.

I cried because someone I knew from way-back had buried a loved one (terrible!)… and then sent her kids off to prom (wonderful!)… and kept showing up for her family, friends and life in general (admirable!).

And I couldn’t keep looking at these events that were having such a big impact on me without saying something.  But, under the circumstances, I didn’t feel right breaking a 20-year silence with a wall scribble, “Sorry for your loss.”  So, CRV, I’m writing this post to you as a longer, more heart-felt wall scribble, okay?

I’m not a silent peeping-tom.  I am hurt by your loss, and I need to say so.  I am inspired by the forward steps you take every day, and I need to say that, too.

The life and family you have created is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long time.

Is a picture worth 1,000 words?  Oh yes.  And so much more.

Happy Mother’s Day, CRV,
With Love,


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3 Responses to “Say What You Need to Say (for CRV)”

  1. Erika Harris Says:

    If you haven’t watched/listened to the video yet, please take a few mintues to do so. I bet at least one person (if not more) will come to your mind that would love to hear something nice from you…

    Stop being a quiet chicken!

    And I say that with love. ;-)

  2. William Ritchotte Says:

    Erika, I have buried too many friends and know the impact of words that were not meant to hurt but do anyway.
    I love my best friend 8 years ago and another good friend from high school a year ago. It hurts and reminds you of the choices you can make and to keep in mind that all we can count on is today.
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why we call it the present. (Chinese proverb from Kung Fu Panda)

  3. William Ritchotte Says:

    Correction: I did love my best friend but I lost him 8 years ago

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