At a funeral service for a beloved cousin recently, as I sat and listened to the overwhelmingly kind eulogies of her life, the same thought returned to my mind that pops up every time I sit in a funeral service: “She would have loved to hear these things when she was alive!”

It’s true, isn’t it? Too often we wait to voice our kindest thoughts about someone until they are no longer around to hear them. Why is that?  (Now, in some cases, the select kind words spoken at funerals may not accurately portray the deceased; but that is usually evidenced by the few people in attendance at the service.) At my cousin’s service, we most definitely exceeded the limits permitted by the fire marshal.  There was standing room only in the church and a line outside to get in. The room was a buzz of stories of her acts of love and kindness.

As I sat and listened to person after person recount what a blessing my cousin had been to them, I wondered if she herself had truly known her own impact. It was a time of joy for all of us as we genuinely celebrated her life and legacy. Still, I could not help but feel the irony of the situation. We were honoring her good deeds and gracious heart as we bid our Good-byes. I wish now that more of us had done that as we greeted her with our Hellos.

So today, I issue this challenge… not just to tell people that you love them but to tell them why you love them. Tell them the difference they have made in your life, how you yourself are better from having known them. Why wait until someone has passed to honor them? Give them their flowers while they are still living so they can enjoy them. Doing so will bring you both joy to share.

Clifford A. Bailey
speaker, CEO


This entry was posted on Monday, February 6th, 2012 at 8:23 am and is filed under Emotional Intelligence, Musings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.