When I went to see my friends this summer, I decided I wanted to write them each a letter. I was inspired by an article I read in a magazine while flying to NY in December. The article was written by a man (whose name I forgot, and I am mad at myself for not saving the article! He is a NY times journalist who had started a movement. You were to write a letter to the person who has the biggest impact on your life, and show up on their doorstep and read it to them. The article went on to talk about how the writer wrote his letter to his former boss, the one who really pushed and encouraged him as a writer over the years. When he showed up with his letter, he found out the woman he was so impacted by was actually dying of Cancer. She then enlisted him to write a story about her life for her son, so that he would know the woman that she was. The story was moving and so touching, I sat there crying while reading it.
I decided from then on I would write gratitude letters. To let those in my life who have impacted me know how grateful I am to have them in my life. The letters I wrote to my 4 lifelong friends, which I printed out on pretty paper, and sealed in an envelope shared with them all the beautiful qualities they hold, why I love them and appreciate them, and why I can’t imagine life without them.
Delivering these letters was very emotional. I didn’t read them aloud; I don’t think I could have. But, I handed them to each of the girls and told them to read them when they were alone. I told them to save them so that someday their children can read the letter. Or if they are having a shitty day and need something to lift them up, they will always have this letter to read.
My friend Jillian said something interesting after reading her letter. She said it was amazing to hear from someone else how she was perceived. I guess I didn’t even think about that when writing them. I assumed they knew they possessed all of these great things!
In the past few weeks I have heard devastating news of sickness and death. Life is short, and things can change in an instant. I would hate to go through life not letting those around me know how much they mean to me. I hope this will inspire you to write your own gratitude letters.