love and appreciation

Let Them Know You Love And Appreciate Them – While You Can

Some years ago, a dear friend of mine did something so amazing and express her love and appreciation for the people she love and let them know. I have to share it with you. At a gathering at her house, she set up little brown bags. There was one for each of us with our name on it. Then she gave everyone small pieces of paper and a pen.

She told us that a dear friend of hers had suddenly passed. There had not been any time for her to say goodbye or express how much she loved and appreciated him. Others who were friends with this person felt the same way. It was sad.

But my friend thought it didn’t need to be this way. She asked us “What would you want to say to each person in the room if you knew this was the last time you saw them. Please write a little note for each person and put it into their bag.”

I thought this was an amazing idea. I didn’t know everyone equally well. The same was true for everyone in the group. But it really wasn’t hard to think of things to say both genuine and meaningful for each person. The notes we wrote for our close friends were deeper, of course. In either case, what we wrote to each other were things we might not say on a regular basis, if ever. But it is the things we wished we had said once we realize we no longer have the chance to do it.

Those pieces of paper were heart-touching! For many years, I kept them pinned to a small corkboard. Whenever I looked at them I felt loved and appreciated all over again.

My friend and everyone in the room changed lives that day. We are often too critical of ourselves. We often don’t fully feel the love and appreciation others have for us.

And how well do we express our own feelings of appreciation and love to others who are important to us?

I’m Curious

What do you think of this idea? If you like it, when will you do it with your friends, family, or both?


  1. Tina on at

    I really love this idea! As a team building exercise, I think that team members would certainly appreciate hearing from their associates how much they are admired and depended on to complete their “team” dynamic. Thanks Stephie – I appreciate YOU!

  2. Stephie Althouse on at

    Thank you, Tina! I did this as a team exercise, too – it was pretty cool. And I love and appreciate YOU!

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