Say the things that you need to say before it is too late

Say the things that you need to say before it is too late.
Say the things that you need to say before it is too late.
Image: 123RF/ Zdenka Darula

A few days ago, terrified of the deadly winter punch at night, I put off going to the bathroom. I decided I would go in the morning and went to bed. When I woke up, there was no water. The kind of heavy duty I needed the bathroom for required water.

As I would find out, being pressed for the bathroom has a way of forcing a person into introspection. I started thinking about the many occasions where we put things off with the promise for doing them tomorrow.

In the past few weeks, I have had a few people around me lose people they love. One of the most profound things about death is that even when expected, it has an element of surprise. It also leaves an avalanche of feelings in its wake and often people's grief is often interrupted by regret for all the things that were left unsaid and unfulfilled. Regret is a lot harder to resolve.

In his book, Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom says "Nothing haunts us like the things we don't say."

Regret will leave you feeling haunted, hollow, and sitting with angst. Don't let any of those be because you put off doing something today in the hopes of a tomorrow. Regret on its own can feel like a sort of death, when the only thing that ought to feel like death ought to be death itself. Regret is a thief, it robs us of joy and of peace.

I have often heard people, men especially, harp on about not being able to communicate - sometimes proudly. And yes while feelings are accompanied by corresponding action, words are unparalleled as a tool of affection and affirmation.

I wonder how these people sleep at night when the people they love pass on and they lose all opportunity for the words they could have said, the questions they could have asked, the answers they could have given.

Take the time to let people know how you feel about them, don't ever let an opportunity to tell someone how you feel about them pass you by. Remember that this is for you, so don't concern yourself with what their response will be, especially if it is not going to change your feelings. If you love them, say so.

When you have wronged someone, apologise. Saying sorry not only unburdens you, but also means a lot to the recipient as well.

When someone has hurt you, let them know. Mostly because some people pretend that they aren't aware of how hurtful their actions are, let their unspoken sorry be their burden and not yours.

Are you grateful for someone, even if it is just for their presence? Say it.

We put off so much, so unnecessarily. And in a world that is riddled with politics, insane chase of money, and epidemics, people may put off saying the things they should say. But before all the world's shenanigans, we are human first and to neglect our words and their effect on the people we love and ourselves is to negate our very humanness.

I know this sounds simplistic, but life really is simple or is meant to be simple, we just complicate it.

Tomorrow belongs to none of us, so instead of waiting to die so people can send you off in endless wishes of "rest in peace", get into the habit of gifting yourself peace while you are still alive by learning to use your words.

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