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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gripped By Loss When Life Turns South

I’M SO TAKEN by the recent release of Captain Phillips (2013), and, for me, the climax is the concluding scene when Capt. Rich Phillips (played by Tom Hanks) is taken aboard the USS Bainbridge. In shock, and suddenly aware how close he was to death, he is overtaken in emotion as he considers how his family may well have lost him.
Phillips’ emotional cast is a mix of the humblest of gratitude and the sorrowful wisdom of insight as he gazes full view at one future that would have thrown his family into turmoil.
We take our families for granted, don’t we? There are many times when we get fleeting glimpses of how important our family members are to us, especially when we are away from them, but far too much do we think our family members will always be with us.
To say it’s a shock when drastic change like loss occurs is an understatement.
For Rich Phillips it was as if he was always trying to keep up with his family. Certainly that was his wife’s experience. It’s like that for most of us, too.
Life is so hectic. There hardly seems enough time to do the important things, get some time to ourselves, and be there for family. Ironically, the ‘important things’ are those things we tend to put into the third-most-important category.
We need to work. We need to do the things that sustain our energy and vitality. We need to connect with family. Unfortunately, it’s the latter two that get the scraps of our time and energy.
Then we get blindsided by tragic news!
It’s at 4PM some idle Tuesday... a phone call... a text... “Come now!” “I’m shattered!” There are no words...
Most of us don’t want to even think about such things that break into our lives like a thief in the night.
For the Phillips’ an ever present occupational hazard – piracy on the open seas – something that has lived in their psyche for decades – but something altogether too horrible to ever be a ‘real’ threat – has come. The clock cannot be wound back. It is what it is! Father and husband is never more vulnerable.
***
What do we do, now, to make the changes we need to make to honour our families – our spouses, our daughters and sons, our brothers and sisters, and our parents – by spending time with them and loving them now?
What are we taking for granted that might blindside us in the morning? Projecting sadness forward into potential future losses as they can be foreseen means we are motivated to love loved ones now.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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