April Jeppson: Always share your feelings about others

Published 8:45 pm Friday, September 30, 2022

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I attended a funeral this week. Sadly as I get older, this seems to happen more frequently. I don’t mind these things when it’s family or a close friend. It’s therapeutic and provides an opportunity for closure. Sometimes I even feel bad that so much love is shared amongst the living. Here we are laughing, reminiscing and bonding about someone who sadly is no longer with us.

April Jeppson

I’m reminded that I shouldn’t wait to tell people what they mean to me. They say life is too short, but it is true. So why do we keep our feelings bottled up? Well for starters, it can be uncomfortable to express how you feel, especially if you’re not used to doing it. There is also the fear of rejection. Even telling a friend you care about them and then having it received awkwardly would be enough to make a person hesitate. 

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Over the years I’ve gotten better at expressing my feelings, but I still struggle. The gentleman that passed knew that I cared for him, but I could have told him again. I don’t want to have these regrets, especially when it’s someone close to me. 

My former boss is receiving an award next week at a conference. I was given the opportunity to put together a short video that highlights his accomplishments and why he was chosen for this recognition. At first I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of work it would take, and I wondered if I could even get it done in time. Then my brain switched gears. 

I no longer saw this as another thing I needed to “get done.” It was now an opportunity to show my gratitude and appreciation. I would be able to do something nice for someone that has done so much for me. I mean I was just thinking about how I needed to tell people what they mean to me on a more regular basis. This is literally the perfect opportunity.

So now as I go into the weekend my mind is stirring on ways I can show those around me how much I care for them. Some people enjoy hugs, others want you to just say it and then some like thoughtful gifts. Everyone is different and speaks a slightly different love language. Showing appreciation is not a one size fits all situation. It needs to be adapted to the receiver. 

Personally I enjoy genuine compliments, high fives and one-on-one time. Take me out for lunch and tell me how great you think I am, and I’ll be your friend forever. 

I’m hoping that my loved ones know they are loved. But I’m not just going to rely on that hope, I’m going to continually work on making sure there is no doubt in their mind. Not just because I don’t want regrets at their funeral, but what about mine? Life is short and things sometimes come out of the blue. I want to leave this world better than I found it. One way I can do that is to share my feelings and hopefully brighten someone’s day. It’s not a big thing, but it might mean everything. 

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.