Have you ever had the rare and sacred opportunity of stepping onto Holy Ground? Of knowing that what you are seeing or experiencing has a level of purity and beauty that could only be a reflection of God's love?
For me, those awe-inspiring moments have happened most when I’ve had the privilege of helping someone nearing the end of their earthly life write letters to loved ones.
Several years ago, I was asked to help a remarkable woman named Laurie as she was concluding her journey with cancer. Laurie was radiantly beautiful and had a deep and abiding love for the Lord and for her husband and family. Words of affirmation were her native tongue, and she had poured out encouragement throughout her life.
Once she was placed under hospice care, It was important to Laurie to express her feelings in writing one final time so that her husband, children and grandchildren had a lasting remembrance of her love for each of them.
I was awe struck by the relationship that Laurie and her husband, John, shared. They had been married for over 35 years and clearly cherished one other. What hope it provided me to witness a long-term marriage of this depth and beauty.
As I helped Laurie write her letters, I quietly suggested to John that he also “leave nothing unsaid” and write Laurie a letter to express his profound love for her. He seemed delighted to be able to do something so meaningful for his bride.
The letter flowed quickly for John. He had expressed his love to Laurie in writing many times over their years of marriage, but this letter was special. It gave him a sense of peace and completeness to make sure that Laurie knew everything she meant to him.
Laurie and John shared their letters with one other, and John continued to read their letters aloud to Laurie throughout the final days of her life.
Thankfully, I was able to attend Laurie’s Memorial Service. As Louie Giglio says “we preach our own funerals.” Laurie certainly did.
Everyone agreed that reading Laurie's letter to John at her Memorial Service would show her love and her heart. Hearing those words shared at the Celebration of her life overwhelmed me with gratitude for the opportunity to help.
Then, a video was played. On the screen was a picture of John’s letter to Laurie. And we heard John reading the letter he had written to his beloved wife.
Click the image below to watch the video.
Grab a tissue. Listen and be inspired by these touching, affirming words and by the heart of a loving and faithful husband.
John testified to the beauty of Laurie’s character and to the impact that her life had made on him, their entire family, and countless others. And with his letter and the way he honored his wife, John set an example for others to follow.
"Without you, I would have gone down unimportant paths, pursuing positions and possessions that don't matter. You've encouraged us to focus on experiences and treasure relationships, especially ours, over all the other options and I am forever grateful."
What a remarkable legacy for their children and grandchildren. What a wonderful example of what a loving marriage can be.
Not everyone has "the gift of the long goodbye" as Laurie and John did. Please don't wait to express your love for your wife or your husband in writing. None of us knows what tomorrow holds. Give them a treasure that can be read and re-read in the days and years to come. You never know how your words will impact your spouse and inspire future generations.
If you need help, please get a copy of my easy-to-follow workbook. PDF copies are available today. New and improved workbooks will be in stock in the next two weeks!