Dr John Smith: Say the important things, before it’s too late

Say the important things before it's too late, says the Rev Dr John Smith
Say the important things before it's too late, says the Rev Dr John Smith

I hope that what you are about to read will not be as sad as you might think it is going to be.

I have presided at the funerals of several of my friends recently, some very old and some dying far too soon.

Afterwards I have heard something like this; if only she had realised just how many friends she had, if only he had heard what was said about him, there was so much I thought I knew but didn’t, if only she had realised what her life had meant to others. These words are often said with both a sense of regret and of pride, but what might we do about it?

As a nation we have a tendency to hold back on expressing what we feel, we are too buttoned up.

Why can’t we share a little more, laugh and cry together, tell people how grateful we are for their friendship, for what they have done and sometimes what they have not done?

Why can’t we give people a sense of what their life means, and how wonderful that would be if we could say it before they die.

I have a little mantra which I say to myself and to others, “If you are going to plant a tree plant it today”.

This is because I do plant trees in our garden and they take a long time to grow, so get on with it.

In other words say it now, say all these things to your friends and your family and don’t leave if for another day. We think so little of ourselves that we might think more if we heard what others said about us.