I lost two more friends to cancer recently. One of them was a hilarious girl I knew in college. She was 42 years old, and she had a phenomenally good attitude about her illness. The other was a friend I made originally on Twitter, then through a number of phone calls. She was also a guest on my radio show, and she wanted me to go into business with her at one point. She was funny, creative, and interesting. She was 59.
One of the downfalls to knowing and caring about a lot of people is the fact that you also get to experience a lot more loss than the average person. I know thousands of people, and I have hundreds of friends. I'm not tooting my own horn - it's simply true. I consider it a huge blessing, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I am energized by people. My wife tells me that this is the very definition of an extrovert. I have no doubt that this is the case.
So, since we all know that we can't predict the future, and our lives are delicate, why don't we take more time to let people know how we feel about them?
If you love someone, tell him/her. Do it right now. I've never been shy about expressing my feelings toward my family or even my close friends. I don't want there to be any doubts about this, should I die unexpectedly.
"I love you" is a powerful phrase, especially when it's sincere.
"I appreciate your friendship" is another meaningful thing to say, and I guarantee that it will be memorable to the recipient.
I had a friend that passed away three years ago who used to call me JUST to encourage me. No agenda. He didn't want anything in return. He just wanted to be my friend.
Be a friend. A real friend, not a friend who expects reciprocation. Ironically, we probably each communicate with more people than ever before, but it's often on a more shallow scale than it used to be.
Have you called anyone lately to tell them how much you appreciate/love/respect/care about them? Why not? Are you concerned about making yourself vulnerable?
I've tried to make it a point to do this more often, and it's very liberating. The saying, "pay it forward" is more than a little trite, I suppose, but it's the quickest way to explain what I'm suggesting.
Take five minutes and call someone you know and like and just say something nice or tell a friend you were thinking of them. Do it daily. This isn't even completely altruistic, because it will make you feel better, too.
If you need some practice, call me. I promise it will be a good time for all involved. :)
Thanks for reading!