When you lose someone close to you, whether that be a family member, friend, partner, pet – you remember the big adventures, the memory-making events, the “always memories.” The other pieces you remember are the little things. That’s what I find I’ve been remembering… and really missing recently.
In processing my grief from recent losses, I find myself really sad around these little things. How they were so special, how some were just habit, how funny some of these idiosyncrasies were, and especially, how they made me feel. It’s powerful how a certain phrase or the exact same questions about what I was doing with every visit or phone call made me feel so loved and accepted. I still even end up with tears when I catch myself getting into my bed carefully as to not to disrupt the ghost of my fragile, geriatric dog at my feet. Much like the physical space he took in my bed, he and the other losses still have the imprint that I have built my life around.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I know this quote well, and at this time of grief it’s painfully true. All of these “little things” are all about how I feel. I feel them so deeply. I long for those special little things even more now that they are gone. I am reaching for them in my grief, and it hurts. I wish I could see my Uncle Larry light up a room in his special way one more time, and the way it made us all feel alive, warm, and ready for fun.
All of this makes me wonder about the little things that I say or do that impacts others. My older daughter can tell me all of the nicknames I have for her and how much she loves them. A former student told me she still remembers a special class 4 years ago that I could vaguely recall. What things am I completely unaware of, that affect people – good or bad?
I know I want my friends, my family, those that surround me… I want them to feel.
For me, that means being
and open to feeling the little things again.