Last week I stared at my phone screen, not believing what my friend had just told me. Our close friend's father had just passed. I didn't know him well, but there was still a huge knot in my stomach, obviously feeling awful for my friend. That has to be one of the most horrible things, that I could never in a million years imagine having to go through. I told my friend I was thinking of her, but honestly, I tried to push it out of my mind that entire week. It's so scary to think that one moment everything is fine and then something like this happens so out of nowhere and out of your control.
Sometimes things happen in our lives that are unexplainable. This semester has had its ups and downs for me, but it's been pretty smooth sailing overall. I usually gladly stay on campus for the weekends, surrounded by my friends and so much going on, rather than taking the hour-long train ride home. Of course, I miss my family, but I am rarely thinking about it, especially on a Friday night.
This past weekend, however, I had this overwhelming desire to be at home for the weekend, and I couldn't figure out why. Sure, I had more work to do than normal so going home would probably force me to be more productive. I had also been sick that week, so it would be easier to kick my cold in the comfort of my own home than in my dorm. And as much as I adore Brower (not really), it can never hurt to get a good home cooked meal. I kept telling myself I would be home for spring break in two weeks, so none of these reasons really added up to my wanting to be home for the weekend.
Nevertheless, after a late date night on Friday, I decided to pack up my things early Saturday morning and haul my duffel bag to the train. And by the end of my weekend at home, I realized why I needed to be there so badly. I hadn't really confronted how hearing about the loss made me feel and how it was affecting me.
Writing this sounds selfish. Why should it matter how I feel when someone I care about is over there grieving and going through such immense pain? But after a week of pushing it out of my mind, I saw these events as an eye opener for my own life. Even though I have a really close bond with my own father, we fight a lot more often than I'd like, and sometimes I need a reminder to just let things go. I don't show it enough, but I love my dad so much and need to be grateful for the important role he plays in my life.
It sounds like stating the obvious to preach the importance of cherishing every second because you don't know when will be the last, but we often forget. No one should have to suffer through loss, and it scares me the more and more I think about it. I wish there was such a thing as the perfect thing to say to help someone through such an unexplainable situation like this. I guess all you can do is be there for them, give the people you love a hug, and appreciate the little moments you're lucky enough to spend with family.