“People never learn anything by being told,
they have to find out for themselves.”
— Paulo Coelho
Today marks the five-year anniversary of a close friend’s unexpected passing. This morning I caught myself reflecting on that dreary morning when I received the news, and how several colleagues and acquaintances whom I barely knew came up to me over the subsequent hours and gave me a pat on the back, a hug, or a genuine “I’m sorry.”
In the midst of my sorrow I now realize this tragic loss taught me three important things. First, the worst things can happen to the best people for no obvious reason at all. Second, most people, even the ones you don’t think care, are genuinely good people who do care. And finally, just as it is difficult to see all the opportunities life gives you until you’re looking back, it is virtually impossible to fully understand certain life circumstances until they actually happen to you.
It’s a variation of this final point that I want to explore further today – seven important life lessons almost everyone learns the hard way, eventually.
1. The people you lose remain a part of you.
Someday you will be faced with the reality of loss. And as life goes on, days rolling into nights, it will become clear that you never really stop missing someone special who’s gone, you just learn to live around the gaping hole of their absence.
When you lose someone you can’t imagine living without, your heart breaks wide open, and the bad news is you never completely get over the loss. You will never forget them. However, in a backwards way, this is also the good news. They will [Read more…]