Throughout time people come and go in our lives, yet when a person leaves us in death there is a loss that is unrecoverable.  We always believe we could have done more; taken more time to to be with them;  listened more intently; written down the stories and experiences they gave us.   So what does happen when a generation passes?

The biggest loss is that of a loved one; someone whom we have looked to for advice, stories, laughter, guidance, and love.  Someone who always seemed to be there in the time of need; someone who looked to the future with optimism, and tried to instill that virtue in us; someone who guided us without making the decision for us; someone who loved us unconditionally for who we are, and not for who we should be.

That is the loss.

It is also for the loss of knowledge and experience; a generation who lived through great tragedy bringing out of it life lessons to pass on to our generation.  How many times have we visited and sat listening to stories about life during the twenties – thirties – forties?  The hardships – the joys!  Yet how many times have we listened and understood what we were being told? And how many times did we learn from them?  How many times did we ask to know more, to become part of those lives?

With the passing of our parents’ generation we are fast losing the ability to sit, listen, and learn from their advice.  We no longer can pick up the phone and call and ask for advice or suggestions; that is quickly being taken from us.

What we can do is remember what has been left to us – the memories, the stories, and the photographs of a life gone by.  We can cherish the fact we were a part of those lives, of those men and women who came before us.  We can tell our children and grandchildren about them and what they stood for; and most importantly – how much we loved them, and will miss them.

I speak of our parents, our aunts and uncles, their brothers and sisters, our in-laws’ parents and their brothers and sisters.  For those of us who took the time to meet them, visit them, and love them – we are better for it.  We feel the same loss our brothers and sisters do when they lose their spouse’s parents; the closer they are, the closer we are.  Do not hesitate one last visit when an end is near; for not to go, is to lose far more than can be imagined.

This passing of a generation is quickly coming to a close.  For those of us whose parents are still here, visit them and tell them how much you love and appreciate them.  Do not wait for the tolling of the bell.