A Gratitude to You

LetterDid you know that the death rate in the US is 807 per 100,000 population (CDC, 2011)? No, I didn’t either.   In other words, 0.8% of us will die each year.

I know death seems far, far away for most of us. But those deaths are not all old people.  Approximately 20% of those deaths are due to cancer and another 10% due to accidents, diabetes and influenza/pneumonia.   And so our imminent demise is unlikely, but not impossible.

That mortality never seemed so close as on 9/11. This year on 9/11, one of my dear friends sent me a lovely note about how she valued me and our friendship. It is a ritual she adopted from her sister: each year on 9/11, they tell their loved ones how important they are to them.

This is a sticky idea to me, and I’m adding it to my I-hope-now-daily ritual of what profound good I can do each day.   After all, why restrict that lovely ritual to something once per year? Accordingly, yesterday I wrote a gratitude letter to a family member. Gratitude letters have been empirically found to increase well-being, so this is not just a touchy-feely-do-good exercise. Each time I write a gratitude letter, I am filled with so much positive emotion which lasts for hours.

This gratitude letter is to you. I appreciate that you take the time to read this blog, whether daily or monthly, and that you read it with a spirit of openness and acceptance. You never comment about my typos, poor grammar, or misperceptions. Your comments are always positive, and there are some days that you make the difference for me between a good day and a bad day. Some of you even share a little bit of yourself through written or verbal comments, and I feel so honored and grateful to be part of your personal journeys.

I am also so grateful to the whole notion of blogs. I never even knew what a blog was 2 years ago and 300 blogs ago when I started writing. What a wonderful vehicle for expression and communication.

If this gratitude letter made you feel good, know that I probably feel even better! Try it out, and start with those that you feel deserve to hear it from you the most.  It’s one small way we can live as if it’s our last day on earth.

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2 thoughts on “A Gratitude to You

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