I Should Have Said

By Adele Lund
Laureate Group’s Director of Community and Business Relations

Recently a dear friend of mine shared that she and her husband had numerous people in their life who have had a stroke or other brain related issue. Those individuals were weighing heavily on her husband’s mind, and eventually he decided he had to write his thoughts down.


When my friend shared his words with me I knew I had to give them a broader audience. Here is what he wrote:

Before the stroke, I should have said...
• We need to talk more
• I always listened to you
• You are my hero
• I forgive you
• I have always loved you

What can we do with our loved ones now BEFORE tragedy or chaos strike? ALL THE ABOVE, sprinkled in with lots of smiles and hugs and pats on the back. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in our daily lives to the detriment of our human interactions. But there’s a definite price to pay when we do.

We need to talk more — Do you remember sitting around the dinner table, all family members present, lively conversation ensuing. s that a distant memory or a recent one?

I always listened to you — If asked, would the people in your life say they felt “heard” in your presence?

You are my hero — How many times do you walk past someone and think “that person is amazing” or “I’m in awe of how that person touches lives around them.” What holds us back from expressing those thoughts?

I forgive you — Three simple yet profound words… and all too often we leave them silently perched in our minds.

I have always loved you — At what point in a relationship do you stop expressing your love because you’re convinced they know how you feel. What if you’re wrong? Are you willing to risk it?

God loves you — That message needs no explanation from me.

Is there anything new in the words above? Is there anything there you’ve never thought of before? Probably not. Yet if you were suddenly rendered unable to communicate, would you find comfort in the knowledge that they know you always loved them because you told them. Would they understand your heart because you shared it through a lifetime of conversations? Despite the misunderstandings that litter any relationship, would you find peace in knowing that all is forgiven?

Are we present in “this” moment in a way that allows us to realize more meaningful relationships?  We are only promised today. Live in it.