I was at the airport
I met a woman today at the airport. She said she had MS. She was shaking and on the verge of tears. Water was welling up in her eyes, and she was ready to burst. Something told me that it wasn’t MS. She was going to see a neurologist.
I encouraged her to keep her appointment, but I said: “I don’t think this is MS but I’m glad you’re going to get it checked out.” I suspected that the most upsetting symptom she was experiencing was panic. “Right now what’s probably happening is you have severe anxiety,” I asked her if she had MS right this moment, what could she do about it? She said nothing.
I said, “then do nothing.”
She sighed a huge sigh of relief. I breathed too. I felt her release her body, and her worries. What happened to her next was out of her control. She didn’t know what was coming next, nor did I, but we both knew that she let go of the weight, the pressure of feeling like she had to do “something.” Her body looked less tense and she sunk into her airport seat ready to talk with me about the children’s book she was writing.
One day I will die
I sat at the bar in the Long Beach airport drinking hard cider, thinking about the fact that one day I will die. Every day we are dying a little bit. I don’t know if I will die in a plane crash. That is morbid because at this moment I’m about to get on an airplane. But maybe the reason my flight is delayed is that I’m supposed to live. I’m living, and you are too.
We’re not dying; it’s hard to remember this at times, but it’s important to treasure every single moment. At any time somebody that you love could pass away. It is tragic to ponder this fact, but it’s true like that Metallica song, sad but true. Sometimes I get impatient when things are not going my way. However, when I think about the fact that one day the people that I love will die and I will have to cope with that trivial. When I saw that woman in the airport who thought she had MS, it made me think about how valuable life is. I started to realize that our concerns are significant, our worries matter, but remembering to treasure the moments that we have spent with the people we love is so important.
Death, dying and living.
When a loved one passes away, it’s sad, and we will grieve. There are many phases we will go through; however, you will get through them. You will heal. I’m not sure how I will feel when people important to me die, but I can say that the phases of grief are real and if I have trouble coping I will speak about that in therapy. I will allow myself to mourn and that’s crucial to the healing process. It’s sort of like the worst breakup ever. You found love, you treasure it and then you lose it. It hurts and it’s confusing and much like love, death doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s a part of the cycle of life.
I’m standing in an airport waiting for Aaron to pick me up. I can’t wait for him to hold me and kiss me. It feels like it’s been forever, but it’s only been a couple of days.
I will remember that woman at the airport and how she changed my life. She cried into my shoulder and I hugged her close. I understood her pain in that small moment.
We don’t know what tomorrow brings so be here now.