I believe that we benefit from opening out hearts and minds and souls to those in our lives who are aged or ill. For years I have ascribed to the philosophy of taking leave of people as if it was the last time you would see them. As a selfish demanding 15 year old wanting to get home for a date I did not do that with my grandfather. I felt an amazing amount of guilt for years until I held a “conversation” heart to heart and soul to soul with him apologizing for my behavior.

Holding in love or dismay or hatred ages us. Please don’t let pent up thoughts and feelings steal your love of light and vitality. I have seen people who opened their hearts soul to soul in therapy OR person to person in reality instantly look and feel decades younger. Yes, really decades younger. I’ve also observed the tight lips and the tight jaws and “anxious adult looks” on those who haven’t emptied their hearts and minds of words that needed to be shared and understood.

My favorite uncle, Uncle Forest, just passed away in Indiana. When I heard of it his fatal injury from a fall, I sighed– relieved and contented that I expressed my admiration, love and appreciation to him in a private phone conversation just days ago. On an “impulse” I called to see how he was doing. He was alone for a short time and answered the home phone. I imagine he was told not to. Thankfully he answered. I talked openly. He modestly brushed off my gratefulness to him as a bright beam of joy, interest, concern, delight in my life as a child. Our minds, memories and souls touched that day.

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