Today I got a message from someone who reads this blog and she said very nice, beautiful, articulate things. I don’t know her extremely well and she didn’t have to say them. She could have just thought them and kept them to herself and that would be fine. But out of nowhere she shared these incredibly encouraging words with me and it made my day. THANK YOU. You inspired me to write about something that has been on my mind recently.
“If I died unexpectedly would you get a tattoo to commemorate our friendship?”
I asked this half-jokingly to a friend of mine who said that yes, they would, and they even knew exactly what it would be! And what they said was perfect and sweet.
Which means at some point they have pondered my early death and what they would maybe do or say in response to it.
I find this fascinating. I mean, I do it too. We don’t want to think about people we know and love (or just like) leaving us too soon, but it happens. Within the last week two twenty-somethings passed away tragically and suddenly. I didn’t know either of them personally, but we shared mutual friends and my Facebook feed was covered with people posting their thoughts, memories, prayers, and goodbyes.
I wondered if I died tomorrow what kind of texts, emails, voice mails, wall posts I would get and from who? What would people say? How many-
“I wish I would have told you…”
“I wish we had spent more time together…”
“I remember when you…”
“I always loved that you…”
“I didn’t know you very well, but I…”
would there be? So many lovely words written to someone who can no longer read them. But they could have read them.
Why don’t we say things we love about people when we see them? Who cares if it “seems” out of place or awkward. If the girl I sit next to in class were gone-just like that, I’d want her to know that I love how she’s passionate about using recycled material in her work, I think she’s really smart, and she’s a beautiful person. Why don’t I tell her that? Shouldn’t we write or say those things to people simply because they are alive to receive it?
Yes, we should.
So, go tug on someone’s heart strings. Or a few people. Or everyone in your contacts list.