Feelings, Happiness, Love, Relationships, Support

Life is Just Too Short: An Important Lesson from Connecticut

I woke up yesterday believing it would be just another normal day. I turned to the right side of my bed, and grabbed my phone to check my emails. Just like usual, I proceeded to open up my Facebook. Emotions soar through me as I saw status after status update, and link upon link, of the events in Newton, Connecticut. I felt absolutely distraught at all the lives lost; the children, the adults, the teachers. I wanted to cry right then and there.

Then I heard a door knob rattling. The muffling of young, innocent voices. It was the sound of my two oldest children, my 5 and 3 year old. The two children who I brought into the world, who I’ve laughed with, who I’ve smiled with, who I’ve shared good and bad times with.

I held onto my children tightly, telling them that I loved them. Telling them what I tell them each and very day.

It’s a sad thing in today’s society, that emotions are considered to be a ‘weak’ and ‘female’ attribute. That it’s ’embarrassing’ for a man to cry. That it’s ‘strange’ to show your grown children affection. That it’s ‘laughable’ to tell others that you love them in the middle of dinner.

But you know what?

I do it. I tell my husband I love him before he drives off for a short 3 minute trip. I hug my parents as a 24 year old, even though this was beyond a rare occurrence as a child. I ramble on and on about my close friends on Facebook, even at risk of boring people. I express my emotions and feelings, day and night. All the time.

Why do I do it?

Because it is such a shame to feel love and appreciation for another person.. and to bottle it up inside and not show it.

Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I know it’s difficult; we don’t want to feel humiliated, be vulnerable, be considered the weak ones. But sometimes people need to be told, sometimes people need to hear it.

Those mothers and fathers, partners and friends; weren’t to know that the events of the Connecticut shooting would unfold. They didn’t know that the last time they said ‘I love you’ to these victims would be the last. But I can assure you, they probably lived the best life they could with their loved ones. They probably laughed until they cried, smiled until their jaws were weak, imagined what the weather at Christmas would be like and drooled at the thought of filling their stomachs with turkey.

But the horrible thing is, they won’t know what Christmas will be like this year. They won’t see the snow flakes flow gently from the sky; they won’t see what their loved ones got them for Christmas. But we are the lucky ones… we still have that incredibly precious chance.

Life is Just Too Short

If we can take anything away from this devastating tragedy: it is this. Life is too short not to say ‘I love you’. Life is too short not to thank your friends for taking the time to drive you to work. Life is too short not to call your mother up just because you miss her. Life is too short not to tell your partner how happy they make you.

Life is too short not to align how we feel on the outside, with what we feel on the inside.

We may not be able to take back the lives of those lost, but we can find substance in the lives that are still here. Appreciate and love those around you. Use the time that you still have.

Life is just too short not to.

Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as news.com.au, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She has just completed her first book – a memoir - and is on the search for a publisher.

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