Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Say It Now

One of the hazards of having a large group of friends and acquaintances is that there are much higher chances of having someone die on any given day.  Our many overlapping circles have had several losses over the past few months, and it takes its toll on the people left behind.

What it also does, at least in my case, is make me wonder.  You see, life goes on.  It isn't easy, and depending on how close you are to the departed it can be hard just to make yourself get up and face the next day, or the day after that and so on.  But eventually, even for the closest of friends / family, life does go on.  There is always that gaping hole shaped like the one that you lost, but the ache eventually dulls even if it doesn't fully go away.  And life goes on.

When it happens, though, it is common in this day and age of social media for people to express their sorrow and grief by talking about the one that they have lost.  You see walls and walls of friends and family discussing how much the person meant to them, and talking about events in their shared pasts.  It is beautiful and allows for a shared mourning, and I don't ever want anyone to think that I'm putting down those who do such things, especially since I have done so myself.

But it really does make me wonder.  Why don't we say these things when people are still around to hear them?  There is so much negativity in the world, and we could all make the world a brighter place if we said these kinds of things to the people we love while they were still around to appreciate the words and the emotions behind them.  It isn't necessary to make huge, emotional outpourings a constant thing, but rather why don't we simply make sure that the people in our lives know how much we value them?

I have tried to make a conscious effort to tell people what they mean to me more often, but I still do not manage to do it often enough.  I am striving to get better at it.  My goal is that when I finally leave this world I want everyone I have in my life, everyone that I care about, to know just how much they mean to me.

Imagine what it would be like if we all did that?

So my challenge to you, Dear Readers, is that you start making it known to the people around you how much they mean to you.  You can make the effort with large gestures or small ones, but it is important that the effort be made.  Tell your family and your friends that you love them.  Do it constantly.  Let there be no doubt about it.  Just as importantly, tell them why.  Let them know what it is that you love about them.   If they make you laugh, if they are always looking out for others, if they knit a mean sweater or bake a completely decadent cake, then tell them so.  Don't think that you'll tell them later, because you never know if later will actually ever come.

Remember, most of us wonder what others will say when we're gone.  Wouldn't it be better to say it to us while we're still here to appreciate it?

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