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Dick Palmer: Death's sorrow has its positive side

The sorrow of losing a loved one cannot be measured in simplistic terms; each of us must carry that load in our own personal way. But there is a positive side to all this, a side I want to share with you this week.

The sorrow of losing a loved one cannot be measured in simplistic terms; each of us must carry that load in our own personal way. But there is a positive side to all this, a side I want to share with you this week.
As many of you know, I lost my father this past week. He was my mentor, my critic, my advisor and my best friend. Of course, through the years, I appreciated his presence and guidance, but after his death, I learned a great deal about him and realized I had often taken his gift of life for granted.
Oh, I'm not apologizing for that, we all take people for granted, especially the very people we love the most. But there comes a time to reflect and learn from the experience of sharing God's gift of life with others. And there comes a time for reflection, because with reflection, we learn to cope with reality and find ourselves better off for it.
In the past week I learned a lot about my father from friends and strangers, some I vaguely knew and others I didn't know at all. The point is, it isn't just my father I am reflecting on here; it is people I have been in contact with through the years but never took the time to see them as real genuine people with real feelings and caring ways. That's the lesson I learned in this past week, and that is what I want to share with you this week.
Caring is perhaps the greatest gift we can share with relatives, friends and total strangers. There is nothing more powerful in this life than a pleasant smile, a nod, a handshake or a hug. We all know that, of course, but reflecting on the feelings of others is just a little more complicated. We attempt to form an opinion about someone with little or no knowledge. That's the downside that too often takes over our impressions and actions toward others.
When people reminded me of things my father did for them, through the years, I then realized that others who had experienced his presence in their lives shared my love for him. That was an awakening that really softened the blow of his death.
I looked around and recognized the positives of life were all around me. I saw the value of sharing with others, and more importantly, I recognized just how wonderful people really are, especially in a time of need. The truth is, my father's death gave me a feeling of sorrow naturally, but it also pointed me in the right direction, that being that life is precious and I am not alone. Life is a gift we cannot take for granted. There is too much to share and not enough time to do it.
I am grateful for the opportunities that are yet to be shared with others.

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