Happiness Tip #1

Tell others you love them

On a Sunday afternoon in July 2009 I was pottering around my home when the telephone rang. Picking it up, I heard “Hi Sis”.
It was the voice of Peter, my baby brother calling from his hospital bed.
Although Peter had been ‘through the mill’ health-wise over the years, battling leukaemia and GVH (graft versus host disease) after a life saving bone marrow transplant, he had been admitted to hospital a couple of days earlier as a precautionary measure following a routine visit to his oncologist. In the days prior, Peter had been knocked low with the ‘flu and his blood work didn’t look too good so he was now found himself occupying a hospital bed.
I had been to visit him in the hospital just the day before. We had laughed and joked and to coin a phrase commonly used by my family, Peter was ‘full of life and bad manners’. He appeared to take great joy in teasing me about my skills in pushing a wheelchair and the apparent hearing loss he believed I had developed as a result of my ‘advancing’ age and big sister status.
”Hi Pete, what’s up”? I answered.
“Nothing much. My phone is just about dead so I was wondering if you could organise for my charger to come up to me.”
”Do you want me to tell Mum that you’re in hospital? She can bring it up to you.” I asked. Yesterday Peter had begged me not to tell the family anything.
”No. I don’t want her and Dad to know I’m in hospital. They will only worry and I’m fine. I’ll be home in a couple of days.”
We chatted a few minutes longer before Peter said “My phone hasn’t got much battery left so I’ll hang up now. I love you Sis.”
”I love you too mate.” I replied before ending the call.
Sadly, those words were the last I ever heard from him. With a diagnosis of H1N1 (or Swine Flu), he slipped into a coma two days later. I was so glad that I had gone against his wishes and told my parents that he was in hospital so they had the opportunity to see him prior to this occurring. Over the coming days, Peter’s body slowly shut down and each family member had the opportunity to say our goodbyes. Although Peter never awoke, we knew in our hearts that he heard us.
The knowledge that our last conversation held the words “I love you” brought me comfort in the days ahead. This knowledge was in stark contrast to the guilt that I experienced after the passing of my other brother David 15 years earlier. Then, I had experienced great unhappiness knowing that he had died without ever knowing how much he had meant to me and just how much I had loved him. It was a burden that I carried for a long time until I forgave myself.

Psychologists tell us that keeping love to ourselves is of no benefit. To be happy we require healthy relationships with others and part of keeping a relationship healthy is to share our feelings. The words “I love you” solidifies the bond between those in the relationship and assists in maintaining a strong relationship with the other person. Being open with our feelings makes us a more compassionate and allows us to let go of our egos and to give of ourselves.

Many times I have heard people say “They know how I feel. I don’t need to tell them.”
I’m here to tell you that it is incredibly important to share your feelings with those that you love. Tell them that you appreciate them. Tell them that you love them. Tell them of the happiness that they bring to your life. If you feel that you can’t say the words, put them in a note or a greeting card. Please believe me when I say that it’s not just those you love who will be blessed by your words but the blessings come to you as well.

Hearing the words “I love you” engenders happiness within us. Sharing the words “I love you” engenders happiness in others. Take the time each day to tell those in your life that you love them and the blessings and happiness that you share each time you do so, will come back to you.

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23 thoughts on “Happiness Tip #1

  1. I am so sorry for your loss.

    A beautifully written post.

    Thank you for sharing this story. It has made me realize that I don’t share my feelings with my family as much as I could.

    This has really helped me today. Noddy x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Noddy for your words. I am so touched that you found something within what I had to say and I’m pleased that it has helped you. Many blessings to you at this time.

      Like

  2. Suz, thank you for sharing your story and for your important reminder: I tell my husband and son that I love them every day, I never ever want them to question whether they were loved xx I’m sorry for the loss of both of your brothers xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing this experience, Suze. I lost one of my brothers in a similar sort of circumstance but I was glad that my last phone call to him was a loving one. I asked him if there was anything I could do for him. He said, “I just want you to be happy, Jane.” And we said we loved each other. I didn’t get there in time to say goodbye in person but the words in my last phone call to him were a great source of comfort. I can understand the sense of guilt/regret about your other brother dying because you didn’t feel you’d expressed everything. I am so glad you forgave yourself though. He probably knew deep down how you felt anyway and no matter how much we try there will be unexpected deaths that happen when we haven’t had the closest of conversations with people. Love you. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sorry for your loss also Jane. Those last words between those we love are important for sure. I honestly believe that telling others that we love them not only creates happiness within us but within them also. Many hugs to you xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve got to start doing this with my brother. We’ve never been affectionate with each other. In fact, we’ve never hugged each other. Still, both of us love the other one, this I’m sure of. But what if something happened right after talking to him and I didn’t say the words ‘I love you’? Yep, must start doing that.

    Thanks for waking me up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Glynis,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m pleased you are going to start doing this with your brother. It makes life so much more special. 🙂
      I hope you’re well.

      Like

  5. Suzanne, I was just going through some “older” posts of yours, and found this one I had not read. I am sincerely sorry about your loss.

    Your final conversation is something to be cherished And a lesson for myself, to let others know how much I care for them, and say “I love you”.

    Please take care, and thank you for sharing such a touching, personal part of your life!

    ~Carl~

    Like

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