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Challenge: Open Discussion

How about we say it before it's too late?

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Luke Perry died. It’s all over the news and people’s social media feeds. And it’s sad and it seems unfair because he was so young. Yep.

But seeing all the celebrities and his friends and acquaintances all giving their condolences and sharing this outpouring of love for this guy makes me wonder. How often had they talked to Luke, reached out or got together with him? ...When was the last time they saw him to share all these feelings and love with him when he was still alive? I have a feeling I know the answer.

Standing at my late husband‘s funeral receiving line over a year ago, I watched hundreds of people wait for hours to come up to me, my children, my parents, his parents and sisters—to tell us what Matthew meant to them. At first, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that they all came and waited outside in the November cold for us. But then, I got really angry that he wasn’t here to see all these people who loved him so much.

His buddies from childhood swimming days that he hadn’t seen in 20 years that he always used to talk so fondly about, teachers from his past who told me how amazing he was in school, old coworkers who shared with me how much he influenced their lives for the better.

I stood there thinking, “Shit! look who’s here! Look who came all the way from Texas... and look, it’s Dan and Joel and Keith and Paul from college! God he loved you guys! Hey it’s so-and-so who we haven’t seen since that concert we went to years ago!”

But it didn’t matter then. None of it mattered really because he was in a damn box behind me. He deserved to see and hear and feel all this love while he was still alive. But this is the way it goes, right? Someone dies—unexpectedly or tragically —and everyone pours out the love, the praise, the admiration and heartfelt sentiments for the person who now can no longer hear it. It makes us feel better, but it should maybe make us try harder to do that shit right now, while we all still have air in our lungs.

Don’t wait to tell your friends that you love them and that you admire them, adore them and would miss the hell out of them if they died. Call someone you love or miss and tell them to meet your ass for lunch, no excuses. Catch up and laugh and smile or talk about old times.

Don’t waste another opportunity to share your heart with someone while you still have time.

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