11 Powerful Words That Express What Matters Most

11 Powerful Words That Express What Matters Most

The Irish have a great tradition. When a loved one dies, the wake precedes the funeral. An Irish wake is a time of mourning and merrymaking. As the Irish have a penchant for Guinness, liquor might contribute to the spirited remembrance of the dearly departed. Regardless, the purpose of the wake is to celebrate a life and remember fondly the loved one who has passed.

Irish Wake Celebration

Why do we wait for people to die before we celebrate their life and share what they’ve meant to us? We assume we’ll have time to say the important things. We plan on having the heartfelt conversations, but it never quite happens. Then comes the eulogy. We regret that we never spoke the intended words of love and gratitude we felt when our loved one was alive.

In his book “The Four Things That Matter Most,” Dr. Ira Byock, an international leader in palliative care, conveys the importance of sharing four profound messages before we die. Deep peace and healing can be found in these simple—yet powerful—eleven words.

  • Please forgive me.
  • I forgive you.
  • Thank you.
  • I love you.

Why wait until a crisis? Instead of sharing these words from a hospital bed in your dying, why not share these life-affirming messages in your living? You will experience greater emotional well-being in your own life, and you will impart a blessing of peace and healing to those you love as you share what matters most. You will be prepared for a good death, whenever it might come.

Imagine writing a letter to someone you hold dear, expressing your love and gratitude for all she has meant to you. Can you picture the smile on her face as she reads your thoughtful words?

Is there a broken relationship in your life that could be reconciled through giving and receiving forgiveness? Imagine years of enjoying this restored friendship that you had all but lost.

If I were a fly on the wall at my Irish Wake (I do have Irish heritage), I hope I’d hear people say, “She made me feel so loved,” or “I felt so appreciated; she let me know she was grateful for our relationship.” I hope to leave this earth knowing I have freely forgiven—and have graciously been forgiven, I have loved and been loved, and I have expressed my gratitude for life’s many blessings.

Then I hope they’ll raise a glass and celebrate a life well lived!

How has the recent sharing—or receiving—of one of these phrases impacted your life?

QUESTION: If you have shared or received one of these phrases, would you please share your story and inspire others via social media? Please share this post with your comment.


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