We never know

My wife and I both lost our mothers within two months of each other this past winter. Even though both had lived long lives, 89 and 90, both deaths were a surprise and a shock.

My mother-in-law had just gone down to Florida the night before to start her four months of being a snow bird. She had a massive heart attack on the morning of her 89th birthday, her very first morning in Florida. She took care of herself and could outwalk, outdo, out-exercise anyone I knew. A shock, like I said.

My mom had spent the past year at Rose View Assisted Living Center, now Leighton Place. She had gone from 72 pounds up to 98 pounds and was really better than she had been for years. … Yet, she, too, passed on to a better life.

My point is this: We never know when we might be saying goodbye to our loved ones or when we might be the ones leaving this world suddenly. Make the most of each opportunity. Tell people that you love them over and over. Don’t waste a day. Make the most of the time we have with each other.

We were lucky that my mom moved up here for her last year. We got to see her almost daily. It was a wonderful treat for me not to have to drive 2 1/12 hours each way. I could just stop in and say “hi,” maybe watch some TV together. She got to see her great grandson every week and knew that another was on its way.

We spent the week before my mother-in-law passed with her for Thanksgiving. She and my wife sat in the back seat of the car as we drove a few hours two days in a row to see other family.

We miss them both and would love to have even one more day with them. But we can’t. They are gone from this world but are not forgotten.

Grief is a wicked feeling; it wipes you out. Don’t run from it, as painful as it feels. You must go through it. Feel the painful loss, cry your tears, express the anger of the unfairness of death, experience the depression of losing someone so dear.

Allow that process to make you better and stronger. Allow that loss to make you appreciate the relationships you still have. Feel God’s love in the midst of the pain. You will not be alone. We have been overwhelmed by family and friends pouring out their support.

Allow others to help you through it when it is your turn. God promises us a future, and God will not leave you in your time of need. Feel, allow comfort and have faith.

–Weiss is the chairman of the United Churches Golf Tournament.