Life isn’t short. It’s really quite big.

We’ve all heard the phrase “Life is short.” It’s used to justify our decisions to do activities we never thought we had the courage to do or to take more vacations while we have the time. We use the phrase to motivate ourselves to focus on happiness and to clear the air between our damaged relationships.

A few weeks ago, my eldest son made a comment about how there were days he wished he could be with God already. He’s ten.

Some might say he is too young to make a statement like that, but he has always shown wisdom beyond his years and has a wonderful ability to talk openly with me to understand these thoughts and feelings more. I told him that I understood how he felt and that there were many days I felt like that too. I noted how concerned anyone else might be if they overheard this conversation, but that I knew the feeling behind what he said and that he wasn’t considering this from a negative or morbid stance.

I asked that he consider how much life he really had ahead of him, using my age as a comparison. I am in my thirties and, unless something tragic happens outside of my control, will likely live into my nineties. I am only one-third of my way through life and facing another sixty years actually feels like an eternity.

We say life is short and use it to justify how we treat others. We don’t want our life cluttered with their mistakes. I have been so guilty of this. I focused on the 1% of the times my husband was unmistakably wrong more than the 99% of the times he was wonderful to me or my children. I made mountains out of molehills, thinking my life and those of my children shouldn’t be wasted in dealing with that 1%.

When we say that life is short, we are trying to justify putting our lives before something we don’t want to face or before someone else’s life. It is so selfish.

We may be a small speck on the continuum of time, but life is so much bigger than we give it credit for. If our years are but a speck, what about those small moments that frustrate us? Those 1% issues, compared to the 99% love? They are NOTHING across all of time and history. Why do we act like the way they impacted us has meant everything, when they are so minor in the grand scheme of things? Out of pride, arrogance, selfishness, we forget our place.

My husband recently cut his own life short. The 1% got to be too big for him.

There’s more to it than that. There always is. But so many 1 percents add up and seem like all that you are left with.

His life may have been shortened, but in reality, 51 years was quite long. It was enough time to fight the 1% if he had only felt like he could. But at the end, his life just was too big to be felt all at once.

There’s so much I won’t understand. We like to say life is short and that we should spend it on the things we enjoy. Why did he spend his last days watching Breaking Bad episodes instead of anything truly significant? Why not show some emotion, any emotion?

If I could ask anything of those I know, please, stop thinking life is short and must be filled with amazing experiences while the bad get downplayed or ignored until they become insurmountable. Life is so big; it’s SO big. Much more than individual moments. Spend it on love, that is one thing there is too little of. I wish I had told him one more time, but that 1% issue had me so selfishly mad that I wanted him to make the effort and I didn’t chase after him to tell him, even though my heart said I should. It may not have made a difference by that point, but it wouldn’t have hurt to try. And for someone else, maybe it could. This large life you have been blessed with, make it so full of forgiveness and grace and kindness and faith and especially, love. Maybe you will bless someone else to see that they can make it through those struggles because the 99% is huge and it is worth it.

30 thoughts on “Life isn’t short. It’s really quite big.”

  1. So well said, Melissa. Bless you and know that our thoughts, prayers and love are with you at this time and always. x

  2. My heart goes out to you and your family and that was a powerful message you wrote and I will keep ya’ll lifted up in my prayers! I’m not sure if you remember me when we worked together at iGPS (Twin Bldg. off Robinson St.

  3. Melissa, thank you for writing this…you are so right in that we focus on the 1% far too much. Our complete focus should be on God and the goodness that he has poured out on us. In light of that, the 1% disappears. I need this reminder! I am sorry for your loss and have been praying for you and the boys. May God be your strength and may He provide all that you stand in need of during this exceedingly difficult time. Love, Aunt Kathleen

  4. I wish there were words I could write that would be of any help, but there aren’t. My heart breaks for you. Praying for you to find the peace that passes all understanding.

    Love to you and your wonderful children.

  5. My father cut his life short as well due to that 1% he could no longer handle at 42 years old. I understand the pain you are going through, and envy the way you are looking at things. I will pray for you and your family, and know that we are all for you, whether we know you personally or not!

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