According to Gary Chapman in his book, The 5 Love Languages, the 3rd love language is receiving gifts. When we think about gifts, the first type might be one bought and gift wrapped–but in reality–a gift is something given to us, but can come in a variety of ways. While this love language may not be everyone’s primary one, most of us do feel that when we are given a gift, it is an expression of emotions towards us.
Keeping this in mind, the 4th love language is acts of service–like love language #3 from above–service can come in many forms, right?
In case you haven’t read the book (and I suggest you do), the 5 love languages are; #1 Words of Affirmation, #2 Quality Time, Receiving gifts, #4 Acts of Service, and #5 Physical Touch.
Gary Chapman’s book is meaningful because his subject is so important. We all want to feel loved in this life. When I think about my own life and what gives meaning to it, expressions of love is right on top of the list! Sure, I enjoy going places and seeing sights, and I love having “things”. I don’t wash my clothes, my washing machine does that for me. I am very grateful to have such a useful tangible item that makes my life easier! But I can say with certainty, tangible items of our life do not come to the mind of the dying person at end of life, nor to any loved ones who are present.
Giving love, being love, receiving love. When all is said and done, and there is nothing more as the last breaths are taken, love will be all that is left. Love will remain as well as the evidence of it, because love can not die.
So if–after we have departed–we wish to leave a reminder of our love, there are many meaningful ways to do so! One such way is discussed in my book, Dying Made Easy(er): Creating Your Happy Ending. In fact, I made this chapter the first one because this expression of love can have such a wonderful impact on those we leave behind! The chapter title is, “Estate Planning and Advance Healthcare Directives”.
Imagine for a moment–if you haven’t actually experienced it already–what life is like for the “survivors” after a loved one has transitioned from this life. Truly, truly, truly this is one of the most challenging times in a person’s life. Like most of you, I have had some pretty hard times throughout my life, but nothing compares to the times I’ve had to live in this life after a loved one has left. I would rather have a tooth pulled with no anesthesia. Heck, pull two while you’re at it! The pain of sorrow experienced when saying goodbye to a beloved covers all suffering; emotional, mental and physical.
In addition to the grief and broken heart that your loved ones will experience, there will be a long list of task which must be performed as well, like paying your final bills, closing accounts, notifying various organizations and more.
So if you would like to help your loved ones after you have gone (love language # 4), and you want a way to say “I love you” one last time, planning for after your departure can be the answer. Those you leave behind will appreciate the help and yes, they will feel loved by you because when you created your will and trust, you were expressing love. And if you need some help in figuring out what needs to be done and how to do it, pick up my book! The knowledge in chapter 1 will allow you to leave a most lovely (and loving) parting gift!