I recently met with two great young people, A and K, one 28, the other just 21. Both wonderful young people, good jobs, well spoken and living in a nice area of Sydney – everything going for them as brother and sister.
I met with them for about 90 minutes and I just listened to their answers of my questions. It was at that point that I really wanted to cry with them.
You see, A & K had just lost their father – yep at 28 and 21 – they lost the shining light in their life, the teacher, the guidance counselor, mentor, the guy that picked them up when they fell off their bikes. With respect, they are just kids themselves and it was their hero that had been snatched away from them.
What made this conversation even harder to deal with was the extent of years that they hadn’t seen their father. For A, it had been THREE years – mainly due to interstate work commitments and both being busy people, I guess you see that in many homes, a young man wanting to make a mark in the word, however that comes at the extent of the relationship with his father.
For 21 year old K, it was EIGHT years since she’d seen their father – her story like so many others, a relationship split and K lived with mum from her early teens, rather than dad.
I felt their loss, their sorrow and yet because of an great relationship with my father, I just couldn’t relate – I too have that busy life with children, my own business etc etc, but they are all excuses we make – my wife and I often talk about getting of our buns and traveling the 2 hours to see my family.
For me not seeing the person ‘in my life’ that I respect and admire is hard, I love the old boy, he’s a bloody champion! Sure, we don’t always see eye to eye, but I respect the hell out of him – I hadn’t experienced this kind of family before as a celebrant, so this meeting was a first.
So what’s all this mean?
Sometimes after a funeral, I come home and hug my family, call my folks, laugh with my brother!
I felt their isolation, I just wanted to give both of them a huge hug and tell them that everything will be OK – I could see in their faces that it wouldn’t be!
I plead to you, call the people you love the most once a week or better yet, call in for a surprise visit, seeing their face at a surprise visit is so special, you’ll remember that face for a long time…..and I hope for your sake, it’s not the last time!