Some people have a hard time expressing words of appreciation. They find it hard to say, “I love you.” They hesitate to tell those who matter to them what it is that they like.

We have had a couple of family deaths recently and those are really hard. One of them was sudden, one was after a long illness. As hard as each  has been, the sudden death had a dimension of unfinished business that was not as much a part of the one with the longer illness. 

When someone has been sick and suffering, there is often many hours when, sitting beside the bed we have the chance to say our love. There is something about the vulnerability of the suffering that softens the heart and causes us to express our appreciation for the life that we have shared.

When death comes suddenly, many times we have not taken the opportunity to share our tender thoughts with the one who leaves us so unexpectedly. While it may be hard to be vulnerable when we are strong, it may be even harder to wrestle with our regret over not expressing our love.

So take time away from screens and stuff that distracts you from your life. Face your fears of looking soft. Be tender. Express your tender feelings to those you care about.

And learn the language of love. Read poetry. Let Hallmark help you. Find a religious community that nurtures your compassionate self and encourages caring action. Let those around you know how much of a gift they are to you.

I don’t think you will regret it.