Leave Nothing Unsaid

close-up-of-mans-eye-cryingOver the last ten days, I’ve spent a lot of time on the phone and computer talking to the family and friends of my very good friend, Neil, who died suddenly of a heart attack at the very young age of fifty. The day before his passing, if Neil had shown up at home or work or anywhere else he was known, people would have nodded, said hello, maybe given him a hug. But if Neil had walked through the door the very next day, they would have leapt to their feet and embraced him with tears running down their cheeks, showering him with love and praise.

We’d all react the same way. The point, of course, is to make a conscious effort to tell people how beautiful they are and how much they mean to us before it’s too late. I’ve made a point of doing so over the years and it’s paid off in deeper relationships and peace of mind.

Five years ago this month, I e-mailed this note to Neil:

Just wanted to mention, Neil, that something I’ve always admired about you is your integrity. No, you didn’t always make the right choices but you always tried to do what you thought was right. And that counts for a lot in my book.

Neil e-mailed back:

Thank you . . . this means a lot to me. Admiration is the most sought after currency in the universe, right up there with love. We all want to be loved but we also want to be admired. So thank you for sending this.

How grateful do you think I am that I took two minutes to send Neil that e-mail? And that I kept a copy of it? Well, guess what? You can do the same thing for your loved ones right now. Please, do not put it off another day . . . or week . . . or month. Take a few minutes and send that e-mail or write that note right now. I know, I know, there’s always tomorrow.

Until there isn’t.

If you had an hour to live and could only make one phone call, who would you call, what would you say, and why are you waiting?
Stephen Levine

Click here to view all my posts on writing letters and notes to loved ones.

Click here to see all my posts about encouraging people to leave nothing unspoken with those they care about.


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10 Responses to “Leave Nothing Unsaid”

  1. 2Serenity Says:

    A good friend of mine died in March at the age of 34 but we both were very open and honest about our love and respect for one another. Losing your friend and grieving for them is a process; however, know his spirit is always around you. The blessing is that you let them know immediately how much you admired them and they appreciated your honesty. Not many people do that. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, 2Serenity. I am sorry for your loss as well.

  3. Catherine Nagle Says:

    Dear Phil,

    Truly glorious. Nothing left unsaid through the mysterious spirit of God’s Grace of listening to your heart.

    My brother died at the age of 50 last year. I had the most beautiful conversation with him on the telephone for almost an hour. It was just one week after that he suddenly died in his sleep. What a blessing to remember every loving word in our conversation! I am grateful for this.

    Thank you again Phil. For all your love and wisdom in making the world a better place to live in!


  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Catherine. I’m sorry to hear about your brother but I’m glad you had that last conversation with him. That’s definitely something to hold onto.

  5. justcharrie Says:

    Phil, you know what? You’ve just opened my mind. I’m the type of person that’s too conscious in showing off emotions. Most of the time I find myself irritable because I failed to say what I really meant or what I really wanted to say. Maybe it’s time to practice telling of my love and admiration to people I really care about. I’m shrugging off my shyness.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    That would be a wonderful, life-changing decision, justcharrie. You would feel unburdened, grateful and liberated! And the people in your life would be even more blessed. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who doesn’t want someone to tell them they are loved and and admired! Wouldn’t you like to hear that from someone? Well, you have the power to give that precious gift to others. I say go for it!

  7. mary minnehan Says:

    Thanks, Phil, for sending me copies of two of your postings. Having known you as a truly creative and observant student, I was not surprised to see your responses as a sensitive adult! It was great! This is such good work to do–for yourself as well as for others! I am so proud of you and so glad that you got in touch with me again.

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Mary! Ummm, I still want to call you Miss Minnehan. But 8th grade was a long time ago!

  9. Todd Silva Says:

    Hi Phil,

    This is absolutely beautiful. I really appreciate you and what you write in your blogs, because they have so much depth and meaning. It seems all too easy nowadays to promote this or that, yet you stay very close to what matters most – your heart. And… Our hearts.

    I feel blessed to know you and to be sharing this wonderful journey of life with you.

    Thank you, my friend.


  10. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you for the kind words, Todd. I appreciate it!

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