Recently I learned that an old friend of mine passed away suddenly & unexpectedly. We met not long after I got my first computer in 2000, on an aol message board. We emailed frequently. Although we only met once in person & spoke on the phone only a handful of times, I cherished her friendship. She was the definition of a southern belle – gentle, gracious, thoughtful, loving & most of all she had a strong faith in God.
Naturally, losing this lovely lady has caused me to think a lot about relationships & life in general. One of the things that crossed my mind was our final conversation. She wasn’t feeling well, so it was fairly brief, unfortunately. I remember our last words before hanging up though.. “I love you.”
When I was growing up, my paternal grandparents always did this too. We never parted company either in person or over the phone without saying, “I love you.” It’s something that I believe is important to do with those close to me. Honestly, no one knows when the time comes that they may leave this earth or even when a relationship may end unexpectedly, so why not be certain that your last words to those good, special people in your life are “I love you”?
Doing this means that there will be no regrets over last words said if the relationship stops. That can make a big difference in a person’s peace!
The last words my grandfather & I said to each other before he died in 2003 were, “I love you.” Although I don’t remember much of the conversation, I do remember that. It brings me comfort during those times I miss him to remember how much we love each other.
The last time I saw my father before going no contact several months before he died, our parting words were “I love you.” As much as I hated his narcissistic behavior, I did love him, & am glad I told him so.
I know this isn’t exactly the most cheery topic in the world, & for that I apologize. I feel it’s something that needs to be addressed anyway. People seem to think saying I love you should be reserved for romantic relationships only, but really, it should be said in all kinds of healthy relationships. Children need to know their parents love them & vice versa. Grandparents & grandchildren should hear a heartfelt “I love you” said freely & often. Even friends need to hear it. I love my friends dearly, & tell them often.
It’s common knowledge that falling in love with someone releases “feel good” chemicals in the brain, but I can’t help thinking that knowing you are loved by someone you love, whatever the nature of the relationship, has the same effect. Hearing the words, “I love you” said with sincerity certainly draws people closer together & feels good, whether the person saying it is a romantic interest, friend or relative.
I believe that it’s time to normalizing telling those you love, that you love them. Why not start today?