I recently had the honor of throwing my mom a surprise birthday party. It was something I had been planning in my head for a few years, as this was a major birthday for her. My brothers joined in to help, and it was a huge success.
We had a few of her friends and each of us kids get up and say kind words about her. I wanted her to know how much she was loved, how much she meant to everyone there, and how much she was valued. My focus was making my mom feel great. What I didn’t expect is the effect it would have on those who attended the party.
After we were all done boo-whooing from the small speeches given, a man approached me. He shared how he sang at funerals and listens to all the nice things being said about the dead person in the casket. He wonders if the people speaking ever had the chance to tell that person, who is now dead, how they felt while they were alive? He then proceeded to say, “What you’ve done for your mom this evening is just that. You kids were able to let her know exactly how you and other people love her and appreciate her while she’s alive. You don’t know what a great gift that is.” He then shared how he will approach his loved ones differently and share how he feels with them while he has the chance.
Wow. I thought I was throwing a birthday party and I got a whole lot more! But it’s true. It’s so important to share how we feel about people while they’re alive because we’re never guaranteed a “later” time. I know this is a message that so many people share, but it’s shared because it’s true.
If there’s something you need to say to someone, or someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time, I encourage you to give them a call. Or maybe it’s someone you see everyday or every week that you need to pause and let them know how much you appreciate and value them. Either way, I challenge you to do it. It’s amazing what it can create, and the momentum it can spark.
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counselingat Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.