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Please forgive me1469742_706449979379196_1257940040_n

I forgive you

Thank you

I love you

As a hospice volunteer, I’ve seen the wisdom of offering these four phrases, as expressed in Ira Byock’s Book The Four Things that Matter Most 

At a hospice bedside, I’ve witnessed a stranded or abandoned relationship of 40 years healed through these four phrases.

Yet, it is tragic that healing occurs solely because death is imminent.

While offering forgiveness to one who has hurt us horribly is a task often too horrible to bear,  holding that aching pain until there is no time left for healing is horrible to bear.


Yet, it is never too late as long as both are still alive.

Even as the end of life nears, it is never too late to say these phrases.

Even if it has been 40 years.

It is never too late to hear these phrases.

For these phrases are freeing for both the living and the dying.

In subtle ways, both conscious and unconscious, those who die continue to influence our every day perceptions of the world and our sense of self.

10500304_10152504948820801_3140780895965429073_nThere are family legacies of pain and hurt passed in our generational family.

These phrases matter for they can bring healing for future generations.

John Greenleaf Whittier said, “For all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these:  it might have been”.


One can always receiving transforming healing.

One can always transform others by giving and receiving the essential values in life: reciprocated forgiveness, gratitude and reciprocated love .

No matter one’s age , no matter the long years or mere minutes a person has left to live, lives can be transformed.


One can wait 40 years to offer healing at a hospice bedside.

Or one can offer healing today.

It is always the right time to say:522338_373346192754095_2017355386_n


Please forgive me

I forgive you

Thank you

I love you.




Related Post: 10 Things you need to say before it’s too late.