Last night I was in the best of moods. Holidays had begun. I had that Friday feeling and more, as I began a weeks holiday. Gathered in a friends house the atmosphere was party like, two families enjoying friendly banter. Life felt good.
Then the phone rang.
As I reached for it, for a moment I did what my mother always does, before even looking at my phone, I anticipated who it might be and predicted what the conversation would be about. I always ridicule my mother for doing this, but I am finding myself doing it more and more lately. “Oh it’s so and so about swimming, or a night out, or a friendly chat etc”, I thought to myself.
On the phone was a friend of mine, and I knew instantly by her tone she was not ringing for a friendly chat. As her mother in law has recently undergone surgery I immediately thought the serious tone was to relay the bad news that perhaps her health had deteriorated. I moved away from the fun and games of the gathering, into a quiet room, so I could match her tone without being noticed.
She then told me a friends son, aged 24, had died in an accident abroad. As I struggled to take in the news I heard her continue speaking. She gave details of what happened. How he fell while climbing. She spoke of the anxiety of his girlfriend and family when they couldn’t make contact. I listened as she talked of mountain rescue finding him, and yet all the while I was puzzled. What was she saying? He died! There was no room for hope. It’s over. I could not process the details of her conversation. Instead my mind traveled to his mother, and I thought of what it must have been like for her as she waited and worried overnight. The difficulty of organising a search team from so far away. Then, with chills, I imagined that moment when she got the phone call, that most heart breaking of phone calls.
His mother is one of the liveliest, funniest, kindest most wonderful people I know. I struggle to imagine or picture her sad. I find it so painful to know that this woman, who brightened the world with her infectious humour and mad capped ways, will now be changed forever. For as long as she lives, a part of her will be sad, a part of her will be forever missing her fine strong boy, her firstborn. I feel sick. I have an actual pain in my chest as I, for just a moment feel her pain, before I realise that what I feel can’t even come close to her pain.
Sixteen months ago I had never seen first hand, the grief of a parent when they lose a child. Now just over a year later, I have witnessed this four times. There was Deirdre aged 19. A stunning looking, very lively girl, who went to work and was in great form only to never return home, a victim of sudden adult death. Young Ben aged 6 years who died from the effects of a seizure. His very brave parents donating organs and giving life to others despite their own grief. My pal Daniel aged 13 years, whom you are all aware of, who died in November after a massive fight against infection post bone marrow transplant, and now my friends son.
Today as I come to terms with another tragedy I pause to think. Life is so short. Not one of us know the moment our fun and games will end with a phone call. Even though my heart is breaking for my friend at this most difficult of times, I am now more determined than ever to ensure I appreciate all that I have. In fact I want us to do more than appreciate it. I want my family to value how happy we are, to enjoy the little things, and to laugh loads. Because after all, I now understand fully, that the phone may ring for any of us at any time.
Live, Laugh, Love.
photo credit: deeplifequotes via photopin cc
photo credit: Cosmovisión via photopin cc
31 thoughts on “One phone call, and life changes forever.”
Tric, I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss. No words can describe. I just watched a mom bury her son, yesterday. One never knows what is in store.
Oh I’m sorry you too have witnessed this most extreme of sadness. It is beyond words.
That is so sad! A reminder to appreciate every minute of every day.
Agreed. We have a lot to be thankful for.
Sad for so young a soul Tric.
You are right, we need to remember to appreciate all we love much more and enjoy and live every day.
Yes it’s so very sad. Thank you we never know how much happiness we have left.
I’m so sorry, Tric.
Thanks so much. A very hard blow. Unimaginable.
It is. (hugs)
Really appreciate your hugs. Thank you.
Tric I am so sorry for your friend’s loss. What a poignant writing of her loss, and the impact we feel all around us. Your words are wise. Thank you.
Yes. Life is short but regardless of what is going on outside our world we should never take what we have for granted. I know you will understand this. xx
I do Tric.
I am so sorry for your friends loss of her child. My heart hurts for her and for you as her friend. You are correct that we must learn to live in the moment. We never know what the next second holds for us.
Thank you so much Deb. I know life for you is so very difficult at the moment. I’m sure you can understand this post..We only have now.
I am so sorry for all of these heartbreaking losses. Thanks for the important reminder to live, laugh, love.
And thank you for reading. Sometimes life just passes us by and we forget that tomorrow may change everything forever.
yes, tric. yes. and so sad for the losses. yes.
I knew you’d get this. Just over a year ago I am not sure I would have.
Oh Tric how very sad … We do not control what we will meet us around that next corner or the news on the phone … Such hurt and sadness around the people we love … Again knowing you , you will be there for them.. Mind yourself xxx
Thanks. xxx And if it all becomes too much for me I can always call on you to get me back to centre. xx
I will be right behind you xxx
Tric, I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss. It is true that there is nothing like losing one’s child, and you are correct that fortunately, unless it’s happened to you, you can’t know that pain. It must be so much more difficult when it happens so suddenly and unexpectedly, and I can’t imagine what that must be like – a whole other experience…
This line says it so well: “For as long as she lives, a part of her will be sad, a part of her will be forever missing her fine strong boy, her firstborn.”
It is so important to live each day fully, with gratitude for all we have…no one knows how long we are here for, so we can make the most of whatever we are given!
I can’t figure out how to reblog this, so will try to share it with a link from my blog – I’m finally writing again! blessings, Lucia
I am so glad you are writing again. Elizabeth will be delighted. Thanks for the interest in this post. I see you managed to link it to your lovely post. You continue to inspire me and to give me ideas about how to help my friend. You have become a much valued on line friend. xx
What a sad, sad loss for your friend, Tric. You are so right with those last 3 words. Hugs, j
Thank you. Life is full of ups and downs. I think while we are on the ups we should enjoy the ride!
Tric, there are no words. I will only say that I’ll try to take your message to heart, and to appreciate my own everydays more. Sending you my sympathy, and a wish for peace.
If you could that would be a wonderful result. I think despite our pasts, for the most part we take what we have for granted.
Sorry for your friend’s loss. Grateful to you reminding me to live every moment to its fullest.
Thank you. It is amazing to realise how short the link is between living and dying.