Why wait for a loved one to die before showing them gratitude? It doesn’t really make sense, does it? We go through life taking so many things for granted, and when someone dies, we start thinking about what they meant to us. Then we sit down and write a eulogy about how grateful we were for that person’s love. This we read at the funeral, telling everyone present how wonderful that person was. Imagine what it would have meant to them if you showed that gratitude while they were still alive.
Write a eulogy for someone while they are still alive
We started these weekly gratitude challenges by taking snapshots of things we are grateful for during the first week. The second week was for looking those who serve us in the eyes, expressing our heartfelt gratitude. Then we spent the third week putting stop signs in our busy lives to appreciate things we usually take for granted.
This week I want to challenge you to write a eulogy to someone who is still alive and give it to them.
I wish I had done that for both my parents before they died. What is the use of showing gratitude once a year on Mother’s or Father’s Day? They both showed me their unconditional love through childhood and beyond.
In hindsight, what would I have written in a eulogy for my mother?
It pains me now when I remember how much I took for granted, and how badly I wish I had shown gratitude before she died. Had I written such a eulogy, it would look something like this:
Thank you for your unconditional love and friendship. Thank you for giving me everything I needed, and teaching me that not all my “wants” were necessarily “needs.”
Also for always showing me grace. Even during my teenage years when I could be a total brat, and when I was unkind, rude and selfish. Regardless, your love was always there and somehow, you managed to keep me on the right track.
Valuable life lessons
I am grateful for those wordless life lessons that helped me to make the right choices in adulthood. You comforted me through all my heartbreaks and never stopped believing in me.
Most importantly, in your mostly silent manner, you instilled in me the values that I needed to pass onto my children. You had a way of teaching lessons by example rather than words.
Essentially, my deepest gratitude is for your guidance that, somehow made my biggest wish come true. From a very young age, I wanted to be just like you!
Don’t do like I did
I failed to show proper, all-encompassing gratitude to my parents. However, I still have the opportunity to do the same for others who have shown me unconditional love and support. This week, I challenge you to write a eulogy for someone, anyone, who deserves your gratitude while they are still alive. Don’t wait until they pass on to write a eulogy. Do it this week!
One last thing, make it personal. Don’t put the eulogy on Facebook or Instagram, do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper. You will be surprised at the level of joy such an expression of gratitude can bring to a loved one.