I don’t know about you, but anytime I attend a funeral, I am eager to get a copy of the brochure and in my free time, I read all the tributes written about the departed.
I do not know if it is my inquisitive nature, but I find these tributes very interesting to read.
The tributes are usually about the deceased’s talents, interests, accomplishments, and how amazing they were.
But I always ask myself this question, did the deceased even know they were loved and appreciated like that whilst alive?
This begs the question, why as a society we celebrate the dead, more than the living? When someone dies, we are prepared to spend so much money to give the person a befitting burial.
At the funeral service the deceased is celebrated, and heart-warming tributes are read out. There is nothing wrong with paying our last respect to our dearly departed.
However, I also believe it will even be better if the deceased had experienced this love from their spouse/partner, neighbours, friends, grandchildren, and children whilst they were alive.
We do not have to wait for a person to die before we tell the whole world how amazing they were? Or maybe as a society, we value the dead more than the living.
When I see people pouring their love for a dead friend or relative on social media, the first question that comes to mind is, when was the last time they spoke to the person or even checked upon them, or perhaps is out of guilt that they pour out so much love for the deceased because they did not do so whilst they were alive?
When someone is alive, we hardly look for them, but as soon as we hear the person’s demise, we see long thesis on social media eulogizing them and telling the whole world how amazing they were and how their departing has left a vacuum that cannot be filled.
Why don’t we cultivate the habit of telling our family, friends, and colleagues how amazing they are whilst they are alive than waiting for them to die before we say something nice about them.
Little things like posting a nice message on social media on their birthday or special occasion are ways to start. If they are not on social media, you can do that privately.
Checking up on people occasionally is also a habit to cultivate. Presently there are so many ways to stay in touch with a person.
Do not just look at a person status or post on Instagram, Facebook, like their post, say something nice about the picture or their post. Your comment will definitely put a smile on their face.
The power of kind words cannot be overestimated. “Kind words are like honey sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” Proverbs 6:24.
Why don’t we all develop a habit of saying kind words or compliment our family and friends often? Compliments show appreciation which is a basic human need.
It makes us feel good, be it receiving or giving them. Scientists have found that being paid a compliment light up the same parts of your brain that get activated when you get paid a monetary award.
I know this is true because anytime my husband says something nice to me, my whole mood lit up. And I also see a change in his countenance when I pay him a compliment.
A week ago, my 10-year-old daughter and I were having cuddles together in my bed and she turned to me and said, “I love you mummy; you are the best mummy ever, you are my best friend, and I am glad you are my mummy” Those words melted my heart and it made me feel good as a mother.
My daughter often tells me she loves me and gives me compliments all the time, she writes little notes and puts them on my pillow, those words really touched my heart.
When she left my room, I kept playing what she said in my head. It got me thinking, how often do I compliment my husband, family, and friends.
I don’t think I do it often enough. That moment with my daughter was a teachable moment.
I think we should all cultivate the habit of complimenting our partners, children, family, and friends often.
Show them we care by words and deeds and not wait till they are dead before we express our affection towards them in public.
“...we must find ways to celebrate people's lives and contributions while they are still alive. We need far more celebrations of life . . . even before people know they are dying.” Tom Rath
Let us appreciate people while they are alive, let’s tell them we love them, appreciate them, and tell them the qualities they have that we admire about them.
I have decided anytime I speak to someone on the phone be it a relative or a friend I will tell them something I admire about them, I am going to make it a practice, so it becomes second nature to me.
Let us celebrate people when they are alive, whatever we do for them when they are dead is an absolute waste.