I lost a dear family friend this year; Mickey Chasanoff.
He was one of the last true gentlemen; a man of tremendous honor, remarkable generosity, fierce love for his family and friends, and he had a wicked fast sense of humor! And I always thought he was movie star handsome.
I think of him often, with great fondness…and with sadness. He left a big void in the lives of those who loved him.
Recently, his wife Judy attended a special memorial service at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. It was a gathering of all of the families who, in 2011, had a loved one spend his or her final days in the hospital’s Palliative Care Program. Judy told me about the service. In particular, she spoke about one speech that touched her very deeply. Judy recounted the following. The content, the words, touched me deeply, as well.
One of the speakers, a Rabbi, spoke about the fact that everyone in the room had experienced a loss. In cases where there had been a long illness, people had time and opportunity to say everything they wished to say to each other. While other families, faced with sudden illness, had a relatively short period of time to say their goodbyes. In either case, said the Rabbi, in the end it all boils down to these few important words.
Please forgive me.
I forgive you.
I love you.
Thinking about these words brings tears to my eyes. I’m thinking about people I have already lost. In some cases, those words were not spoken.
I’m also thinking about several significant relationships in my life today. How might those relationships be enriched if I were to choose to say those few words now, rather than waiting until the very end?
Ps. I believe the Rabbi’s word were from a book called, The Four Things that Matter Most, by Dr. Ira Byock
Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in empowering people who are working on emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, firstname.lastname@example.org