Carpe Diem!
© Betty Sue Eaton
Taking courses in literature and writing essays were most rewarding exercises for me in
college. Not only did I learn about patterns of writing and grammatical structure, I learned some
wonderful Latin phrases that I practice frequently. One such example from Latin classical
writing is "Carpe Diem"; which translated literally means, "Seize the day". That sentence can be
implemented in many, many different circumstances, one of which is getting on with your life
after it has been interrupted or brought to a standstill by some unforeseen occurrence.

The death of a loved one is a prime example of one of those occurrences, and often we find
ourselves unable to take back our lives and make any progress toward returning to our active
roles in society. 'Carpe diem' not only means to seize the day - today, but also to take into
account that there are just so many days left to seize in our lives. But exactly what does "Seize
the day" mean? How can we grasp onto something that has no physical substance upon which
to seize? How can we touch something that is more an idea than a concrete thing? We can't
grasp or touch an idea, but our minds most assuredly can!

Let's say for the sake of demonstration of the idea, "Carpe diem", that you have gone through
the initial, and perhaps the most difficult process of grieving, and that your days have turned
into one monotonous blur after another. You sense that you are at a standstill with no
momentum to move forward - or even backward; you are stuck in a 'time warp'! If we were
using a scientific analogy, we could say we are totally 'inert'! 'Inert' means 'without action or
reaction'. Does that describe your present state? Carpe Diem! SEIZE the day! Take hold of it
and wind it up; make it run; make it happen! "Tempus Fugit"! Time Flies! Realize that there are
no "Time Banks", and once a day is spent - however it is spent - it is gone for all eternity!
"Tempus Fugits" so "Carpe Diem"!

Easy, so I say. But it is anything but easy! Taking your days back takes courage; it takes
nerve; it takes talking yourself into doing it. So how do you do that? First, you prepare yourself
to make that decision! Are you going to spend another day in a state of inertia where
everything is meaningless? Are you going to waste another precious day of the few we mortals
are allotted here on earth? How were you functioning before the tragedy struck and rendered
you unable to act, or react? By deciding, planning, getting ready, looking forward to, performing
to the best of your ability, and realizing that time really does fly, that's how!

The tragedy of losing a loved one hasn't taken away all of those skills, all of that ability; it has
only interrupted them for a while until the shock of the occurrence can be tolerated. You are the
same wonderful person you were before your loss; to be sure, you may feel less, and most
certainly, you have lost some of your confidence to deal with life - for now! I believe that
grieving is a gift that God gave us that lets us experience the shock of loss very intimately until
we can become accustomed to the feeling and be able to return again to the rest of our lives
that He has also given us. We are never alone in the grief process. There are family, friends,
churches, groups and associations all around us to help through the painful chore of grieving,
and it does take great courage to push outside of ourselves to ask for that help. The only one
who is not helping is the one stricken with the loss, and time is flying!

It DOES take courage to reach out for help; it DOES take planning to take up where we left off!
I devoutly believe that God is grieving along with us on our beds of sorrow, but I also just as
devoutly believe that He wants to help us get beyond that point and move forward to fulfill His
plan for the rest of our lives here on earth. I truly believe that He is shouting to us, "CARPE
DIEM! Lay your heartaches on Me! Before many years pass, much will be required of you! Will
you let Me help you?"

Trust me; He most assuredly can and will if you trust in His care.


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