Are You Living Your Dash?
I think about my loved ones who have passed very often, but there different times throughout the year that I do a great deal of reflecting as I believe that it does for anyone that experiences such a loss. I am reminded of a poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis. There are many parts of this poem that I feel may be helpful to recognize.
It talks about the year of birth, and the year of death but what is most important to remember is how we spend our lives, and the memories we make. Ellis says that the dash represents one’s life, but where I find the most reflection in this poem is the line, “and now only those who loved them will know what that little line is worth.”
When we lose someone in our lives, we tend to reflect and have different perspectives on who that person was, or to put it a bit differently who was this person to you? The answers to that question can vary from just slightly to drastically. As we get older, there is a shift that happens when those in our lives transition from having the titles of mother, father, uncle, aunt, and so on to realize that we are all human beings living our lives.
We make choices, and have certain things happen in our lives, and those choices or circumstances take us down different paths. Like so many others, I have experienced many losses in my life that have greatly impacted me. I suppose the thing about grief is that it never completely goes away. It comes in waves some of them crash down on you and others wash over you then recede more quickly. You never “get over” the loss of a loved one, but you go through the healing and grieving process, and you rebuild yourself around the loss that you endured.
You never know what tomorrow may bring, so it is important to live life to the fullest. Are there things you would like to do or see? Do not put off until tomorrow what can be done today.
It is often so hard for people to slow down, and concentrate on the things that are truly important to them. We are so consumed with what has to get accomplished rather than taking time out to live in the moment or do the things that will truly give a sense of fulfillment.
At times it can be difficult to take a step back and really try to see things from another perspective, but in doing so it allows the opportunity to learn and grow. No one is going to be perfect, you are going to have disagreements, and differences of opinion. Be sure to try and be less quick to anger, forgive more quickly, and show genuine appreciation through actions. As many memories as we can make and as much love as we can show others will only enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. It can be difficult to navigate the waves. Remember: the things that matter most are how we live, how we love, and how we spend our dash.