As I have said before, there is nothing like a significant diagnosis to focus the mind and change your perspective. Many times I have been to funerals and heard people speak about how much they loved and admired the person who has passed. How often I have wondered if that person had known in their lifetime that they were as loved as those present had said?
A year ago we lost my oldest son, unexpectedly and suddenly. My thoughts were full of ‘Did he know how much I loved him?’ Did I tell him enough? At times like these when you are grieving, life can be full of expectations on how you ‘should’ react. I was numb, I couldn’t cry. In movies, they always react violently and I questioned why I did not.
I know when my children were small and I had a hard day with them, at the end of the day I would always say, ‘Mummy didn’t like your behaviour today, but I will always love you!’ I hope I carried this through to adulthood with my children. I end every video chat, every phone call, with ‘I love you!’ so I hope there is no doubt that I do. Thankfully, they always respond with ‘I love you too!’
So, my thought is this. Don’t wait to talk about how you feel about a person till they have passed. Everyone needs to be loved and to know that they are loved and to be told that they are loved. Love gives you strength. It makes you able to face adversity, challenges in life both in health and other areas.
The worst thing I could imagine in this journey with Parkinson’s is to feel isolated, alone and unloved. The best thing is to feel loved and supported and cared for. When the journey gets tough – and it will at some point – I know that there are those who have loved me before Parkies who continue to love and support me now and in the future to come.
So, my message is this. Don’t wait to express your love for someone till they are not around to hear it. Say I love you regularly, so they know that they have your love and support and you have theirs. Love gives strength and strength is something we will all need as we live our lives with this condition.