One of the biggest rewards I’ve received since I started sharing my message of How to Be There Even When You’re Not has been to hear the stories of how other people experience this message.
Be There Even When You’re Not is a movement I’ve created to help people maintain special and meaningful relationships in their lives. It means that you can be present in the lives of the people you care about the most, even if you’re not physically present. It doesn’t matter if you live far away, travel often or work long hours. You can always show the people you love that you’re there for them, thinking of them, and partnering with them in their lives. One of ours tools is The Postcard Promise – where people send postcards to their kids or loved ones from anywhere they are in the world. As you will see, postcards can come in many forms, and so can being there even when you’re not.
Today I want to share Mario’s story with you.
Mario’s wife, Blanca, died of cancer when she was only 55 years old. With the kids grown, Mario was left alone in their home and completely devastated.
Mario would have to learn how to navigate throughout life without his life partner.
We tend to connect suffering with love. Like my grandparents who were married for 47 years, we’re taught that the more we mourn, the more we love. For twenty years after my grandfather’s death, my grandmother wore black to show the world she was mourning. I’ve come to realize that my grandmother was telling the world that she still loved my grandfather–and that they had the greatest love of all.
Could Mario miss, remember, and love Blanca but still find happiness? That answer came to Mario in a beautiful way:
Blanca loved Post-it notes and left them scattered all over their home. Months after Blanca passed, Mario randomly found three simple words written on one of Blanca’s Post-it notes.
Keep Celebrating Christmas.
Blanca loved Christmas and always celebrated it to the fullest. Since Blanca died, Mario felt that Christmas had died for him, too. But Blanca’s message gave Mario permission to celebrate. In fact, she gave him more than permission; she gave him a direct order!
Blanca’s Post-it note told Mario that she didn’t want him to remember her with tears. It told him that he didn’t have to wear black for twenty years. Instead, Blanca told him to honor her through faith, celebration, laughter, and joy … even though he would always miss her.
By giving Mario permission to celebrate, Blanca gave him permission to live.
Mario kept finding Post-it notes around the house. Mario even started joking that his wife wouldn’t leave him alone! Each note reminded Mario that Blanca was still with him, even though she was no longer physically present.
A Moment of Clarity:
There is power in writing to your loved ones. They may forget what you said, but they can always read what you wrote. And, because of the mysterious workings of the universe, your message will appear exactly when they need a reminder that you’re there. Even when you’re not.