Losing a loved one is one of the worst feelings a human can endure. It hurts to see the people we love suffer with an illness. It kills us to have our loved one with us one minute then gone the next. The presence of someone we love is something that we take for granted and don’t really appreciate it until they’re no longer there.
Last week, I lost an important person in my life. He was my best friend’s father, but he treated me as I was his own. The pain that the family is going through I can’t imagine. He was his children’s best friend, calling them all every day to make sure they were doing well then crack a few jokes to them. He had a lot of friends, but he knew who was a true friend and who really mattered, as opposed to the phonies that would try to get close for his influence as a politician.
His influence on me was great. He knew how to work a room, he could warm the coldest of strangers with a joke, and he knew what mattered to people, letting mindless matters fall by the wayside. You knew if he liked you by the amount of joking he could do with you. He could break balls with the best of them. Every weekend morning, he’d call me to make fun of a situation I have with a girl. He’d call and say “I see the white BMW outside, ahh ahh ahhhhh”. I would just break out in laughter because I had no comeback.
It wasn’t just the jokes, when it really mattered he was there for you. Over the last couple years, as my family has dwindled and the holidays become more of a nuisance, he made sure I had people to spend it with. The last couple Thanksgivings and Christmas’, he invited me over for dinner and I got to enjoy the holidays with the people I’ve considered family for 25 years now.
While his void will be huge to those that loved him, I take solace knowing that his loved ones got to spend a lot of time with him during his final weeks and the fact he didn’t suffer for a long time. It also brought out the best in what we have in ourselves; our ability to come together during the worst of times and support each other, making sure the family foundation that he built is strong.
Life will go on, as it always does, but his memory will live on within all of us that he loved.