Paying tribute to those we love

sunset colors on clouds
© John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock
Recently, I visited a friend whom I’d known for most of my life, but hadn’t seen for a very long time. We realized we wanted to celebrate our friendship and talk about the special colors of life we saw in each other. It was great to say thank you out loud! I thought afterward what a refreshing visit it had been.

It’s so easy to take one another for granted and let all those loving thoughts lie unspoken. But sometimes a friend slips away and people feel sad that they’ve missed the opportunity. When my husband passed on some years ago, the tributes paid to him reflected his gentleness and integrity, his professional skill and dedication, his love of his family, and much more. I found myself so wishing that he could have heard them all and known how much his life meant to others.

But later on, pondering these treasures, I realized that of course he did know these things, because this was who he was. And it wasn’t too late for the tributes to be expressed, because they brought a much fuller, more vivid sense of him to his family and friends. We were being given permission to go forward with gratitude instead of grief in our hearts. Our lives could say, “Thank you.”

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December 3, 2012

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