Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

Thank people before it’s too late – or, a good goodbye.

Thank people before it's too lateThis week saw us say goodbye to some dear friends. It felt like one of those before-and-after moments: a defining goodbye that marked the shift in life before-and-after them. I cried many tears at the goodbying, and startled myself somewhat at the extent and depth of my sobs – I cry easily and often (it can be a real nuisance) and many who know me know this about me, but even so.

I have been pondering deeply about what was at the root of this volcanic well of tears. And what crystallised for me is that these dear friends, these lovely generous hearted people, have played a key role in my own inner growth over the many years I have known them. Over the past two decades, I have learned to let go of lies about myself, grown in self acceptance, gained more confidence and freedom to be the me I was made to be, and stepped out into a new career. And I realise that this in part has been because of my participation in events and experiences that these dear friends made happen. I am deeply indebted to them for their creativity, inspiration, facilitation and for often stretching me quite a long way out of my comfort zone.

I have been able to express my gratitude to them, through the tears and in writing. It has been very important to be able at least in part to articulate specifics of how they have impacted my life and what a difference they have made.

But I wonder – how many other people are there in my life who are also significant, precious, dearly loved, and how often do I thank them for their role in my life? Now these friends are neither dead nor dying, and we will see them again. But how often do we wait until the person is dead to fully appreciate out loud what they meant to us or tell them that we love them – and by then it is too late.

Between MB (My Beloved as he is known here) and I, we have received emails and letters that have expressed gratitude to us for what we have meant to the sender, and why. These are precious and treasured communications. They have often come out of the blue, sometimes prompted by a significant birthday.

Recently, I heard about a project called The Living Eulogy Box on the radio (Radio 4 Saturday Live, Feb 25). The premise is a simple one – to tell people when they are very much alive and well how much they mean to us, and to honour and thank them for their role in our lives, of whatever magnitude, rather than waiting till they are dead. By that time, for the deceased, it is too late to know of and enjoy the recognition and affirmation of others – how much more would it impact us whilst alive?

Perhaps this is something we could choose to do in Lent, which can be for some a time of reflection – to thank people before it is too late.

Perhaps there is someone in your life who means the world to you but you’ve never told them – you just kind of assume they know, right? Or someone who made a positive, significant difference to your life at a certain point, no matter how far back, but you’ve never let them know?

MB had a card a few years back from a friend, thanking him for his role in her life when they were students more than 20 years previously. He was deeply touched and humbled to read the words, as to him, he was just being her friend, but to her, it meant so much more, and she took the time and trouble to write and thank him.

Thank people before it’s too late – let’s not wait for the goodbyes to tell people how much they matter to us.

Inspired? Encouraged? Get in touch!

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