Don’t Waste Time With Anger

In the past two weeks, I received news about deaths from two different friends in the Bay Area.  The first was about our friend Eric’s mother.  The second was a high school classmate and former coworker, Lisa.  Both lost their lives to cancer, pancreatic and ovarian, respectively.

In a world in which hundreds and thousands of deaths occur each day and in which each news cycle contains gruesome stories of murder, war, starvation and and natural disaster, I paused to reflect on the lives of these two women.  As some of you know, I write letters to my nieces, now ages three and six, which are sealed and kept in a box for them to open when they turn eighteen.  I’d like to share with you an excerpt of what I wrote to my younger niece, Ava:

Dear Ava,

I received news of the loss of two people, one the mother of a friend and the other a former classmate and coworker.  Both died younger than they should have, which is sometimes the way of the world.  Both of them left behind many people who cared for them and cared about them deeply.  And their loss reminds me of an important lesson, one I hope you’ll learn at the earliest possible age.

Life is precious and short and all too often we lose those we love unexpectedly and earlier than we want to.  And even when our loved ones do live a long and full life, we are still destined to lose them.  Because of that, each moment we have them in our lives is a valuable one, much too valuable to spend with a heart filled with anger or hatred or scorn.  Instead, fill those moments with love and kindness and forgiveness, because one day we will no longer have the opportunity to tell the people we love, “I’m sorry; I love you.”

 

I hope both Mrs. K’s family and Lisa’s family are comforted by the memories they have of these special ladies and that their tears of sorrow are interspersed with laughter as they think of the good times they enjoyed. 

I hope that each of us can learn and relearn the lesson brought by their family’s loss because it is a loss all of us have, or will, experience.  Don’t waste time with anger; fill each moment with love.

 

0 thoughts on “Don’t Waste Time With Anger

  1. A very tender post, Chris.  I’m sorry you’ve lost two close friends in such quick succession — somehow that seems more than twice the hurt!  I love the idea of your writing letters for later to your two nieces — it is so hard for them to know you from such distance without that bond.

  2. My condolences, Chris. Your excerpt: “Life is precious and short and all too often we lose those we love unexpectedly and earlier than we want to. And even when our loved ones do live a long and full life, we are still destined to lose them. Because of that, each moment we have them in our lives is a valuable one, much too valuable to spend with a heart filled with anger or hatred or scorn. Instead, fill those moments with love and kindness and forgiveness, because one day we will no longer have the opportunity to tell the people we love, “I’m sorry; I love you.” ought to be written on a plaque somewhere. Quite eloquent. Rubes

  3. Chris, I’m so sorry to hear about these consecutive passings. In particular, I agree with your ending statement,”Don’t waste time with anger; fill each moment with love.” My thoughts and prayers with the families. *hugs*

  4. My condolences, Chris.The letters is a beautiful idea and very cute. Btw, I think it would be cuter if you were to give a letter every birthday when they start teenhood instead of giving it all together on their 18th. It’s never too early to learn such eloquently put life lessons.

  5. So sorry for these deaths. Everyone in research is trying and working as hard as possible to bring a cure to the world – this is one of the reasons for workinf in research. You are absolutely right – life is precious and too short to waste a moment in anger. Too bad the leaders of our world don’t follow this creed.

  6. That was lovely, Chris. This past Thursday I learned of the death of one of my first cousins. He was only 64 years old and was such a tragic figure, but I have nice memories of him as a sweet little five year old. Writing the letters is, I agree, a wonderful thing to do for your nieces.

  7. Very moving post. I’m sorry for the loss. I think it’s such a great idea to write those letters–there’s something really powerful about the written word IMO, and your nieces will one day cherish those letters. My brother’s 2nd grade teacher (only in her late 40s probably) died a few years ago of breast cancer, and the news really affected me even though I barely knew her. Mortality is something that doesn’t often enter into the minds of the young, and as we get older hopefully most of us are fortunate enough to realize how precious our lives are.

  8. So sorry to read about the friends you have lost Chris. Their memories I am sure will always be with you. What a tender way to keep you nieces in your thoughts always,and for them to know you at an age when they will love every word you have written. You are one of a kind person my friend!

  9. I Know it wasn’t the point of your post…but I must say that I find the thought of letters to be shared with your nieces when they reach 18 is a very loving and thoughtful thing to do!!! You are a fabulous Uncle!!!! Ruth Ann

  10. @Dezinerdreams – Thanks, Vivek, for the kind words.  I’ve considered that there are some lessons they should learn before they are eighteen and I hope that I have a close enough relationship with them that I can convey those lessons at appropriate ages.  I chose eighteen, though, because I don’t think that most of us really have the maturity to fully understand “adult” lessons until we get out of high school.  Also, I don’t think they will appreciate the significance of the letters until they hit adulthood, either.  We’ll see, though.

  11. Very good advice. I think a lot of times we’re tricked into thinking that we have all the time in the world but you never know how much time you are really going to get. When we get angry, we all really could do to take a step back and think about whether or not things are really worth getting angry over. Most of the time they are not.I think that’s so cool that you are writing letters for your nieces 🙂

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