Have you ever felt overwhelmed with emotion, but unable to “label” it?
That was me this past week. Emotions as strong as gale force winds.
But exactly was I feeling?
Joy? No. Happiness? Nope. Fulfillment? Not that, either. Pride? No way.
None of those terms aptly described my sentiments.
Finally, the lightbulb came on.
It was awe.
Awe. “A feeling of reverence and amazement.”
Awe: that God had allowed me to be part of something so incredibly beautiful.
Awe: that I had the absolute privilege of helping a wife, mother and grandmother write letters to each of her family members eight months ago. At the time she was preparing for a bone marrow transplant. Although she hoped and prayed for the best, she understood the fragility of her life.
Awe: that after a valiant battle, her last day on this earth would be the same day I was sharing my message with a national TV audience.
Awe: that the family received her letters on Thanksgiving Day.
Awe: to hear her husband and children express what those letters of love mean to them.
Awe: to read her son’s words: “After our Thanksgiving meal dad handed out the letters and each family went to a quiet place to read them. We shed tears of love as we read one last gift from mom this side of Heaven. Thanksgiving to the fullest as mom’s words spoke from off of the page to each of us in personal heartfelt intimacy. Another treasure of love from my amazing mother.”
Awe: to see so clearly, up close and personal, how much this matters.
And yet I wonder: how many letters have actually been completed by those who say they believe in my mission?
Trust me: I am the queen of procrastinators. I know how easy it is to be ruled by the tyranny of the urgent. To let the good supersede the best.
But writing letters of love and affirmation to those you cherish isn’t just a nice idea.
It’s one of the most important things you could ever do.
And I’m not above begging.
In fact, consider this virtual begging: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE write your letters.
If you don’t know where to begin, get a copy of my workbook from Amazon or my website, www.LeaveNothingUnsaid.com. The PDF (my website only) is only $9.00. The workbook is$18.00. If you can’t afford either, email me and I’ll happily give you the PDF. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We can squander hours on social media or watching TV. We’ll enthusiastically spend a day going to our favorite college’s football game. Our lives are busy and full.
I’m not criticizing any of that. I’m just asking you to press the “pause” button and MAKE time to write letters to those who are dearest to you.
Your affirming words make a difference. And not just at the end of life. Your words can encourage a teenager to blossom, a young adult as they launch into the world, a friend who is struggling at midlife, your spouse as they battle fear and uncertainty, or an elderly parent to know their life has made a difference as their “usefulness” declines.
I’m cheering for you. Thanks for writing words that matter forever. For leaving nothing unsaid.