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Last Words

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Interesting things have been showing up in my inbox lately. Today, for example was a story someone shared about a woman who survived the holocaust. She related that her last words to her brother, they were both youngsters, were angry and critical. She never saw her brother again. 'Act as if the words you speak may be the last words you speak' is the lesson she shared and the way she dedicated her life to speaking thereafter. She suggested that our words be able to stand the test of being our final words.

How would that change the way I speak? This question really flummoxed me! My first thought was that I would never open my mouth again! But I really wanted to treat this seriously so I looked a bit more. I would certainly hope that I would think more before I opened my mouth. I often blurt out things without fully considering their impact, usually in an effort to be funny, cute, informative, or attention getting . Slowly, very slowly this is changing for me. But my main focus has been less on the words and more on where I'm coming from, or my intentions. I want to make sure I am coming from a place of love. I do believe that we communicate more with our intentions than we do with our words. Words are certainly important, but so much of what we communicate is non-verbal, both what we send and what we receive, that that's where I've been putting my focus. I know that when I am convinced that the person I'm talking to loves me, I can listen to just about anything they have to say.

I still feel like I'm just hitting the surface here of what this question is asking. As usual i have layers of bs to get through before i get to my truth, but I was so intrigued about what this question might mean that I thought I'd put it out there while it's still a work in progress for me.
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    I really appreciated reading this. I wasn't at his bedside when my Dad died last summer but often wonder what I would have said, and wish I had that opportunity.

    Hope you don't mind my adding you as a friend!
    1924 days ago
    awesome topic! My family has always said I have no filter and for most of my life it's true. I'm also working at changing this to be more considerate of others with my words and actions.

    Tina's story below just shows that you don't know the affects of your words on someone else. She gave that man a moment of comfort when he was clearly dying. That's just awesome!
    1929 days ago
  • ERIN1957
    All I can say is wow, after reading your share and Tina's. I too need to practice this more as well!
    Thank you both!
    1930 days ago
    Oh, Tina, I'm sitting here crying. That is such a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it.
    1930 days ago
    I definitely learned this lesson, I'm a 911 dispatcher and early in my career I had a person call 911 who had crashed his semi and was disoriented and didn't know where he was. Thankfully technology allowed me to locate him and I got help rolling (It was a typical Minnesota wintery night of snow and cold). While I was talking to him, I assured him I had located him and I had help on the way to him. We talked a little more and he got anxious and I again said, I have help on the way to you sir, just relax and talk to me. He took a calming breath and said thank you and I lost him, I radioed to the units responding I had lost contact and within just minutes my deputy got on scene and told me we had severe head trauma. As I was talking to him another truck lost control and drove through is truck that was laying on its side and without going into gory details, my caller was gone.

    At that moment I realized my voice and words were the last thing he ever heard and he had given me that calming breath and then was gone. I was really affected by this and said "keep your words sweet, you never know when they are the last ones someone will hear"

    Ultimately his family asked for a recording of the 911 tape and sent me a letter thanking me. It's made all the difference in the world on how I deal with 911 callers. I also try to implement it in my life, I don't always but try a lot. Thank you Leeney for this lovely blog post!

    1930 days ago
  • TIGTAZ325
    Very interesting topic! I agree with your first comment of "never speak again" to be safe but of course that's not realistic. It's a very intriguing question and I am going to think about this too! Thanks for sharing!

    1931 days ago
    1931 days ago
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