Don’t Wait to Give Flowers or Chocolate or Love (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 262)
“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.”
— William Butler Yeats
Too often, we don’t say the things that really should be said until it’s too late to say them.
When someone we love or deeply care about leaves this life, so many things come rushing back to our minds, like the things that we thought to say before, but just didn’t have the courage or the right time to express ourselves. When someone dies, it’s painful, even frustrating and confusing. And if we were close to that person, he or she doesn’t leave our minds or hearts very soon.
It’s always beautiful to hear the kind words people who knew the person say about them at the funeral; the bounty of gifts and flowers that are given to their families or left at their graveside; the meaningful, sincere conversations always spark a fire of admiration and makes us wonder about what that person must be doing in his or her new life.
It’s really strange why people wait to give flowers and say kind words to people until after they have died. But we do it anyway. We wait until it’s too late to say what could have been said and to do what could have been done. I hear people talk about how someone who has passed away had changed their life for the better or had told them something special or important that had helped shaped their outlook. And those words are genuinely kind and beautiful and meaningful.
However, we wait until it’s too late to say those same words to that person. How much more would it have meant to them if we surprised them with the bouquet while they were alive? Did they even know you felt they were special and thought they had a good impact on your life? Maybe they did. Maybe they didn’t think about it. But we don’t have to guess after the fact if we expressed our feelings now while we still have time.
Time waits for no one. That person who meant so much to us can be here one minute and gone away the next. And the heartbreak compounds itself when we have so much inside that we could have said and so much that we could have given, but it’s all too late.
Death has a way of stopping us in our tracks and bringing us back to center. It helps us to put life in perspective and pay attention to the things and people that are important. It tends to pull us and push us back together and makes us think about someone in a way that is meaningful.
Very often, we focus too much on ourselves that we don’t make the time to think about other people and what they mean to us. We’re so focused on getting ahead and being successful, and proving that we’re better that we don’t really think about what others mean to us long enough to actually act upon the thought, and thank them for whatever it is they did to make us who we are.
So, right now, stop and think about the one person, or maybe several people, who did something special for you. Maybe they had an encouraging word for you when you were feeling discouraged, or they were the only one to visit you in the hospital, or they celebrated your success without being envious, or they loved you just for who you are.
Tell that person while they are alive that they mean so much to you. Bring the flowers now so they can see them. Give them the chocolate truffles now so they can eat them. Don’t wait because soon, it will be too late.
Flowers don’t mean so much to a dead person. They’re nice to buy and place at their graveside, perhaps to help assuage any guilt or hurt we may be feeling, but it means very little compared to the expression on their face when they are alive to receive them. We honestly never know how much time we have on this earth. It is up to us to never be the one who waits until it is too late.
Every day you live is an opportunity to lift someone else up. Tell them what you really think. And then you get the joy of seeing how special, loved, and valued they feel. Whatever you want to do for someone, do it now. Whatever you think about someone, tell them now. However you feel about someone, express it to them now. Now is the only chance you may ever get.
“Don’t wait to realize you shouldn’t have waited.”
— Ofer Moses