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Thursday, September 21 2017 @ 03:54 pm PDT

Two Grandfathers

General NewsThanks to the wonders of Facebook, I got a reminder that my grandfather died a year ago yesterday. As I've written before, we didn't have the closest relationship, and that adds a different tang to the loss. I've talked it out with family at various points and it all comes down to one thing: he didn't know how to show his love. It's frustrating and heartbreaking, but all too common. Even from me. (Chip off the old block? I had a conversation last night with my living grandfather, KNOWING he doesn't have much time left, and while the affection between us was apparent we still didn't find the words.)

If we've learned anything from this era of terrorism, it's that death doesn't do schedules. If we wait for to say what we feel, odds are high that we'll be saying it at a gravesite, unable to see the impact of our words. That's not to say that our loved ones can't hear us; they do and it is always worth saying what needs to be said. But we are made for reciprocity. Our relationships need grounding in two-way communication.

We all have different emotional ranges and corresponding abilities to communicate those thoughts and feelings. It's not about pouring your heart out to all your battle buddies, unless you want to! Rather, it is about the next step forward...

The email response.
A warmer handshake.
An awkward hug.
One extra kind word.

...All to let somebody know that they MATTER.

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