fortigivelovethankI was listening to a podcast yesterday (I think it was the TED radio hour) when I heard something profoundly worth passing on.

There are four basic things we need to be able to say to our loved one. The context is end-of-life, but I think we need to practice these four things all the time:

  1. Please forgive me.
  2. I forgive you.
  3. Thank you.
  4. I love you.

If you have a loved one approaching the end of this life, I strongly encourage you to bring these four sentiments into your relationship. Each one represents an area in which people are sometimes left with significant “unfinished business” when a loved one leaves this life. I would spare you that.

Even more, the regular use of these four phrases can keep you from building up “business” in the first place. That is the best way to be sure not to leave unfinished business.

four-things-coverThese come from “The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living,” by Ira Byock. His web site summarized the power of these phrases succinctly:

Four simple phrases—“Please forgive me,” “I forgive you,” “Thank you,” and “I love you”—carry enormous power to mend and nurture our relationships and inner lives. These four phrases and the sentiments they convey provide a path to emotional wellbeing, guiding us through interpersonal difficulties to life with integrity and grace.

You can find his book in hardcover and Kindle format on (CLICK HERE to go to the book’s page)

Please note: I have not read the book yet. I intend to. If you have read the book, I would love to hear your feedback.


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