Death is never easy to accept. Whether it’s sudden, shocking, slow, or painful, there is something valuable that I have learned from death in light of the recent events. Death brings people together. It can draw families closer and it brings distant friends near. Because of death, we hear from people that may have had a silent presence before. We suddenly come together to appreciate an amazing and dearly missed person; their remarkable qualities, their contributions, and their passions. That is how it is for Nick. If only he were here to hear it.
In my small hometown, everyone has become aware of this tragedy. It’s a town where everyone knows just about everyone—especially if you’re a kid or the parent of a kid. After spending 20 years together, we grew up alongside each other and we know each other’s stories. I only knew Nick during high school, but over time, he touched many people’s lives. People really cared about him—as is evidenced by his memorial page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rest-In-Peace-Nicholas-Joel-Haverland/129230060488517. Please feel free to join if you feel so inclined.
What puzzles me though is why people save their love up. Why didn’t we tell him how much we cared while he was still here? Are we taking life for granted? Too often the words are too late—I don’t think they are falling on deaf ears but I wish they could have fallen on Nick’s ears while he was still here.
Please say what you want to say to those you love. Before it’s too late. Don’t assume that people know how you feel. You have to say it.