Do Your Loved Ones Know?

Do your Loved Ones know?

Do they know they are loved? 

That you hold a special place in your heart for them?

That you care even when you are apart?

Do they know you miss them?

Have you told them?

It’s so easy, so human, to take for granted that the important people in our lives know how we feel about them. With a peck on the cheek as we head out the door or say goodnight we feel like our love is known. With a strong hug as we say hello or goodbye, we assume the words are not needed. With a “like” on Facebook or Instagram, we believe the other will know we are paying attention and care.

Do your loved ones know you care or are you too wooden in you love like these hugging figurines?
Photo Credits: Marco Bianchetti

Are these cursory actions really enough? Does your partner or child know the depth of their significance to you and the rich meaning they give your life? Do dear friends and extended family close by know how they lift and brighten your day? Do those far away really understand the space you hold for them?

What would you do if a dear one suddenly was gone. What would you regret? Would you wish for one more chance to say “I love you?” Would you long to tell them you have a hole in your heart without them? Or perhaps that you’re sorry? Sorry for forgetting the weight of words. Sorry for allowing so much time to go by without being clear about how you feel. Sorry for assuming they knew.

a deglow yellow electric sign spelling lower case "I love you"
Photo Credits: Ali Yahya

Recently, a dear friend of mine, Web, went missing. I say he was a dear friend, but he didn’t know that. We spent several summers in our teenage years hanging out. Back then, and even now, I felt inextricably connected to him. And yet it’s been close to a decade since I last saw him in person. He’s been living on the West Coast, we both were rarely back in our hometown and the overlap in our circle of friends had become minute. Despite this distance across space and time, I always believed I would see him again in this lifetime. Now, heavy doubt suggests none of us will ever see him again. 

Unreasonably, I assumed Web knew how I felt. I took for granted that he knew the special place he carved in my heart with his wit, kindness and raw vibrancy. I assumed he knew how proud I was of him following his heart and forging his own path. But there is no way he could have known. I gave no indications. I did not reach out:  neither calling nor writing ever. Honestly, I think there was a part of me that felt like I no longer mattered to him; like I was no longer relevant. I’m pissed off that this tentacle of “not enough-ness” got in the way. And I am frustrated that I was completely out of touch with how much I cared.

The silhouette of a man standing in front of a window with head hung in regret for the loved ones who didn't know.
Photo Credits: Taylor Young

When a person suddenly falls out of our lives by death or other circumstance, there is a tendency to inflate the person’s significance. I’ve thought about this phenomena a lot over the past several weeks since I learned Web was missing. Do I feel these things because of the drama; the sudden, unusual and potentially tragic nature of his leaving? No, it’s not that. I truly miss him. I deeply regret never sharing with him his importance to me.

In turn, this experience has gotten me thinking about who is not missing. Who is still here? Who really matters? Do these loved ones know? The high level answer is that I’ve got a lot of work to do.

A blurred, etheric image of red, pink, and white heart-shaped lights hanging in the air against a dark background
Photo Credits: Freestocks

So I ask you:

Do those who matter deeply to you know?

Who do you need to tell?

Who do you need to remind?

What would you regret if that Loved One was suddenly gone?

A picture of a loved one who disappeared without knowing I cared.
Photo of Web Pedrick

Web Pedrick has been missing from his home in Grass Valley, CA since the morning of January 23, 2020 when he left on his black electric bicycle seemingly on a quick errand. He left behind personal belongings and has also missed an important doctor’s appointment. If you have any information please call dispatch at (530) 265-7880 and ask to speak with an officer or detective.

Sidewalk with #Love one another written in sidewalk chalk.
Photo Credits: Jon Tyson

4 thoughts on “Do Your Loved Ones Know?”

  1. I am Web’s Aunt Boo. My family and I miss him, especially his Mother and brother.

    1. Oh! I can only imagine. I am reminded of him regularly and immediately say a prayer for him. SO heartbreaking! I am sending so much love and healing to all of you!

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