Saturday night, I went out with hubby to celebrate his best friend’s graduation. It was a cultural affair (his best friend is Ethiopian) and went on for hours, but we really enjoyed ourselves. Even though I spent my two nights at his house earlier in the week, I told my mom I was staying another night because it was late by the time the event was over. So I got to spend another night with my husband (funny how that sounds, isn’t it?) I was happy I was next to him but I contemplated going home because I was freezing! But what’s one night of freezing when I get to spend it with the one I love?

My, how that thought hit home when I woke up Sunday morning. Logging on to Facebook expecting to see the lovely posts of how much my friends love their mothers and all the wonderful moms around them, I read a devastating Facebook status. A status that read Rest in Peace. My heart dropped all the way down to my feet and I was still laying down. I scrolled down my feed and read the status again…and again. I logged on to Twitter to see if the rumors were true. They were. Another classmate of mine passed away. His life was taken all too soon.

This loss hurt for numerous reasons. My classmate was a great guy. He was funny, he was awesome at football, and he was doing big things with his life. The loves of his life were his girlfriend and his daughter. He was such a great dad. So to know that a young woman loss the love of her life and a little girl loss her father, my soul ached. I was distraught all day. A mother loss her son on Mother’s Day.

It’s awful that it takes a loss to realize how temporary life is, how short it can be. My classmate made it so clear how much he loved his family and friends. That’s why everyone is so hurt. I couldn’t imagine losing my husband. I would absolutely lose my mind. As some of my friends say on Twitter, I “might don’t make it”. But it’s a possibility. A very sobering possibility. The last thing you want on your mind when a loved one passed away is “did they know how much I loved them?”

A lot of people are hesitant in relationships because they’re afraid of being hurt. We reserve ourselves and don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable because of the fear of being hurt. We have to take that risk. That’s how we learn what true love feels like. Sometimes we focus so much on our needs when we should try to see what we can do to show our loved ones how much we love them. It doesn’t have to be your significant other, although that’s the perfect place to start.

I’d be the first to admit I’m not the best at loving to my maximum, but I want to change that. I don’t want to make anymore mistakes. I don’t want to hold grudges. I want to forgive. I want to love. I want to mend broken relationships with my family and friends. We thrive on energy, and the energy that love gives you is amazing. You can’t love to your maximum if you’re holding on to something or restricting yourself.

Unconditional love is the greatest gift to give and receive. It makes you richer than any billionaire. It gets you higher than any drug. It’s so rewarding. It’s so fulfilling. It’s such a blessing. We take it for granted. Let us try to love to our maximum.