These passings have been hard. But I've watched a beautiful thing happen, and I've seen it happen many other times over the years. This: a massive outpouring of love. On Facebook and social media, and then in person at the visitation and funeral services, those whom we've lost have been showered with an overwhelming amount of love. These friends were beloved, respected and cherished. Their families were flooded with hugs, prayers, memories and love. I was so thankful to witness such a testament to who each of these people were, and what they meant to so many around them.
But what I kept thinking, was. . . I bet he had no idea just how much he was cherished. I bet she had no idea what she meant to those around her. I bet he had no idea how many lives he changed. I bet she had no idea how much she will be missed. And while I was thankful the family was able to see all of these things, I felt this pang that, in life, the friend who had passed was not aware the difference he had made to those around him. And it made me so sad, but also resolute.
I have pondered this subject before - the concept of building one another up. Of taking a moment (or two or 500) to tell a friend what she means to me. Of pausing my life's busyness and getting together with a friend. When I value something in a person (a good friend or a virtual stranger) I need to voice it. Life is fragile, and I am renewing my vow I made in the link above to tell people how much I value them. I don't know why, but sometimes this is hard! Fear of rejection; of sounding silly or over-emotional? Fear of embarrassing yourself or the other person? I don't know, but I need to get over it. Because when someone goes out of their way to encourage me, compliment me, or build me up, I am buoyed by it. I'm guessing others feel the same.
So let's not wait, my friends. Let's cherish our friends and family members. Let's let them know how much they have impacted our lives. Let's take a moment to tell someone what they mean to us.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving
one another, as God in Christ forgave you.