Too often, it seems, we can get caught up in the day to day routine that we forget about the quick passing of time. Then, when we experience the loss of someone special, we realize that we took for granted that they would always be there and never really said the things that we wanted to say to them.
When my wife’s grandmother turned 80, we celebrated her with a special birthday weekend. Five years later, we were celebrating her again and the decision was made that we would celebrate her every year thereafter. In my opinion, it was a brilliant idea. We would celebrate this incredible woman while she was still here rather than waiting until she was gone.
Having just celebrated this matriarch again a few weekends ago, the poignancy of the weekend remains. Why do we wait until someone is gone to celebrate them and let them know just how much they mean to us?
I have attended and presided over many funerals, it seems like a prevailing sentiment at each and every one that people wish that they had expressed themselves, their appreciation, and their love to the one who has been lost. They wish that they had more time and had said the things they had thought about before they had lost their loved one.
The brilliance of what my wife’s family has done over these last years is that there has always been some intentional sharing of what we appreciate about my wife’s grandmother the most. Imagine the scene with children, children-in-law, grandchildren, grandchildren-in-law, and great-grandchildren sharing about their love for this woman who has impacted each and every one of them. No waiting to share after she is gone (which I assume will still happen someday years from now), the day to share becomes today.
How often do I share with the people around me how much they mean to me? Am I intentional about telling them I love them now, or will I wait until they’re gone and regret that I didn’t say it more?
Loving well means that we let people know how much we love them now, not once they’re gone. Let them appreciate how much they are appreciated. Let them understand their value now. Let them know just how important they are to the people around them.