A dear friend of our family, someone I've called "cousin" for 50 years, passed away on June 5th. The decision to go was his, and the aftermath of sadness, hurt, and pain has been very difficult to deal with. To help myself come to terms with it, I've been trying to find some kind of positive in an otherwise heartbreaking situation.
On the day of Joe's funeral, I was chatting with Sandy, a long-time close family friend. She was looking around the room and commented on how many people had come from all areas & phases of his life to pay their respects. Joe had an impact on everyone he met. Sandy wondered if he knew what he meant to all of these people and she commented that she would want to know what she meant to people now and not have people wait until she had died to talk about it. I was 100% in agreement with her.
We go about our days, doing our thing, but do we ever pay attention to what kind of impact we have? Did we make anyone's day better (or worse)? Did we try to make anyone's day better (or worse)? Did we let the people who had an impact on our day know that? People don't always realize what kind of difference they're making - especially if no one tells them.
It's hard to be human sometimes. We operate in a relatively civilized society and we can't always say or do everything we wish. What we can say and do are good things. Tell people when they've had an impact on you. Something really small to you might be huge to them. Let people know you care about them. You know how sometimes you'll think of someone out of the blue? Reach out to them if you can. All those "friends" on Facebook -- say hello -- right on their page. Send private notes if you've been out of contact for a while and you miss them. The key is to be sincere. If you aren't feeling it, don't do it. People really can tell, so keep focused on keeping it real. And be open to letting people tell you what you mean to them. It's sometimes hard to take a compliment, but learn to do it gracefully.
You have the power to change someone's day and, possibly, their life. Don't think so? Try it and you'll see. In giving, you will receive. Not only will you feel good knowing that you've helped someone to know how important they are, but you'll be opening the door to have that come back to you.
My cousin and I did keep in touch. We said hello and shared funny cat things, and loved mocking people who don't use their blinkers ("blinkahs"). I try to comfort myself into thinking he knew how loved he was.
If you don't believe your words could have an impact on anyone - I say to you - let them know anyhow. Because you really can't imagine how big a difference you can make.
Rest well cousin...you were very loved and I will never forget you ♥