We sat around the table, six friends who haven’t seen each other in quite a long time. The food was passed. The wine was flowing. We joked. We laughed. The mood was light, and levity filled the air.
But then, as if a cool wind blew, the mood changed, instantly. Someone asked the question, “How is Walter doing?” The answer wasn’t good. Walter wasn’t well. Walter was actually in very bad shape, and it was clear, Walter wasn’t going to make it.
The room fell silent. The laughter stopped. Everyone became pensive. Sure, Walter was the catalyst, but Walter wasn’t the only reason for the change. The six friends all had other things on their minds. While different, everyone was troubled by something. Everyone was trying to keep it in, and trying to put on a happy face. Be it concern for a sick family member or friend, issues with their jobs, or mourning the loss of a loved one, each friend felt something gnawing at their hearts.
But, like a damn that broke, the façade of the happy faces was shattered. One by one, each friend shared their worries, their emotions, and their feelings. Smiles and laughs quickly turned into cleansing tears. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Another bottle of wine was opened, and the mood changed yet again. “The problem with people in general,” one friend said, “is that we don’t take the time to tell those around us exactly how much they mean to us. And, then, before we know it, it is too late.”
His wife remarked, “You are right. I don’t want to wait until my funeral to know what I meant to people. I want to know now.”
The six friends fell silent. They each pondered that comment. Perfect sense it made to them. What is the point in not sharing what you feel about those you care about? So, that is what we did. We had our funerals. Ok, maybe not exactly, but we did go around the table and share what mattered most to us about each other. We relieved memories of visits and vacations past. We started to joke. We laughed. And once again, the mood was light, and levity filled the air. But, this time, we all knew just how much we were loved and how much we all meant to one another….
Have you told those close to you lately how much they mean to you?