This past Tuesday, May 17th, I attended a funeral for a physician I knew from the hospital. Aalok Kuthiala was 43 years old when he was found unconscious at home by his wife. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three children, ages 13, 11 and 8. He was well respected and loved as evident of the 400-500 people who attended, with well over 100 who were stuck outside due to the chapel reaching maximum capacity.
At this ceremony, family and friends spoke of his life. His wife mentioned something Aalok did that really struck me. She told us that a few weeks ago, she had found a little love note that he had written a couple of weeks prior. He had placed it in her purse for her find at some point later. This reminded me of a priest, Fr. Larry Richards, who presented a challenge to those in attendance at a men’s conference. The challenge can also be found in his book, Be a Man! Becoming the Man God Created You to Be.
Here is the challenge: hand write a letter to your wife or significant other tonight. In the letter, tell her you love her. Tell her why you love her. After you are done with this letter, write one to each of your children and tell them that you love them and why you love them. Do not write one letter and change the names at the top or make it a group letter to the family. Each person of you household receives an individualized letter. Avoid being negative (avoid saying something to the effect, “I am disappointed in you or despite your flaws I still love you.” This can be passive aggressive and controlling). These are to be hand written letters. You are to write as if you knew you were going to die at midnight. What do you want them to know?
If you are someone who thinks “my wife/family knows that I love them,” think about this: you will never regret telling you wife or other loved ones that you loved them. I cannot image anyone on their death bed ever saying, “I wish I did not tell my family that I loved them.” Instead, it is usually, “I wish I told them more or how much I really do love them.”
Life is too short. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Hearing of stories around F3 Nation about loved ones lost this year alone has also inspired me to make this challenge to all of you. Never walk out the door, or go to bed without saying, “I love you” to your wife or kids. You will never regret it.
Are you up to the challenge?