When We Say “See You”

“SEE YOU ………….”

How often do we really think about the words “see you”?  We use them together with tomorrow, later, tonight, in the morning, on Monday, etc., and we innocently believe that the words will simply come true.  Why should we even consider that in the moment those words are said that we may never have the opportunity of saying them to that person again?  As human beings we simply do not allow our minds to reflect on the reality that life is finite.  Our minds simply assume that tomorrow, we will see each other again.  Yes, we talk about how short life is and we recognize that our journey could end at any moment but do we truly feel that reality.

The hand of fate arrives without notice, detached and dispassionate and in the blink of an eye it changes our lives forever.  Whether it is us who have transitioned to the life we hope for or someone we love, what we knew before is no more and we are forced to adjust to this new and strange existence.  If we are the ones left behind, we mourn, we pray, we hope and we remember and just for a while we hold each other a bit closer.  For some, the routine of our daily lives returns, but for those closest to the change, they face the reality that the last words spoken were “see you ______”.

The words that now enter our minds are “I wish I had_______” and they are coupled with stopped them, told them I loved them, not had that fight but the nightmare will not go away.  The words we find next are usually filled with anger and directed at God and they always include “why”.   Why did God let this happen?  How could God allow such a tragedy to occur?  There are no words that can be said that will take away the pain, that can undo the feeling of anguish, or that can sooth the feelings that come from the reasons the words “I wish” have been uttered.  Those of us standing beyond the tragedy can only imagine the feeling of loss; we can only try to understand the emptiness that overwhelms the family forced to accept the death of someone they love so much.  “See you” now becomes a constant reminder of the next time that will never come.

“See you” may be those words that were spoken without consideration of their impact in life and while they may be painful because they were some of our last words, they are also words of hope.  We believe in the promise made by Christ that if we believe, we will be with Him in paradise.   Consider that the words will ring true someday and as tears are shed because we miss the ones we love and long for the sound of their voice and comfort of their presence, we must know that when we spoke the words “see you” we didn’t imagine that we would have to wait until we sat together at the table of the Lord in all His glory.  We will never know God’s plan but we do know that we will all see each other again.

Andrej Lah, Director of Catholic Cemeteries Association

alah@clevelandcatholiccemeteries.org

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