When All Is Said And Done – Part 4
Learn (The Value Of Love)
I’m not aware of any heinous sins. He screwed up a bit every now and then but we all do – that’s what happens if you’re human.
He screwed up a bit more when he was very close to dying. Any empathy he might once have had for those around him, empathy that he might have normally have mustered, sometimes withered in the face of the reality he was dealing with.
Whatever the brave faces, death strips masks away from most of us.
I think he wanted to stop fighting a long time before. It dragged on. Looking at what we know now, I think he was quietly, secretly, giving up for months before any of us knew that’s what he was doing.
Yes, that goes against how we’ve learnt we’re all supposed to behave, but I can see the same stance in me. If I’m pushed to … If I’ve run out of … I can see giving up on life might be the right choice.
What’s reasonable to expect of anyone? I don’t know an answer.
He once told me he was proud that he’d never been unemployed. And he told me he was pleased with how his kids had turned out. He was married to the same woman – I think happily – for over sixty years.
He’d moved on a lot from the confines he’d been born in – social, economic. Not totally, but a lot. We would all struggle to be completely free of our pasts.
I would call him quietly successful.
In any notional ‘big scheme of things’ he had an unexceptional life. But he died loved, and knowing he was loved right to the very end, when he had nothing left to give.
We weren’t close when he died. We hadn’t been close for as long as I can remember. That’s just the way things evolve. But despite that distance, if he couldn’t always do the right thing, he didn’t do the wrong thing by me.
And I think he’d been loved enough. And that’s precious. It’s worth valuing more highly as anything else you can imagine.
Proper love is rare. Proper love never happens by accident. You can’t buy it; you can only earn it by how you live your own life.
If you or I want to learn one thing from this man’s death, it’s to learn the value of love in your own life.