Giving people their flowers...

I think it is fair to say that we all have things that we may have done differently with the benefit of hindsight, but bad things notwithstanding, I don't know who I would be without all my life experiences, both good and bad. Like many of us, I have spent the last couple of years seeing so many people suffering through losses, grief and regrets and it has made me even more conscious of why telling people how I really feel is so important.

A little while ago, we spent an afternoon on our family holiday visiting the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. Us adults had a wonderful time whereas my niece announced that she "didn't like donkeys" not long after her arrival which is just about typical for a toddler!

The sanctuary is truly lovely and well worth visiting if you happen to be nearby, but the part that stuck with me the most were the beautiful dedications to loved ones that were dotted around the sanctuary. People had shared tributes and they were all so heartfelt. One set in particular really moved me; Leonard (Len) sharing his love for Joyce brought me to tears.

Following our visit, I became fixated on the idea of what my memorial would say and how I would like to be remembered. I asked Mark and my family to buy me a memorial plaque (although my living status apparently puts a spanner in the works). But honestly? I can't think of anything nicer than having a tangible reminder that you can visit and cherish alongside the person.

I am a big fan of being upfront about my feelings and since then, I have tried to use this impetus to tell people how much I love and appreciate them, while they can hear me say it, whether that is face-to-face, over a call, text or in a letter. (I thoroughly recommend writing love letters to your best friends, is there anything nicer than unprompted love in the post?!)

There is something so wonderful about being known and I don't want anyone to have any doubt about how I feel about them (good or bad). It's easy to say that you won't have regrets and hard to make that a reality but you will never regret sharing your true feelings. 

It is terrifying to be vulnerable but wouldn't you rather get and give your flowers while you can truly appreciate them? 

Maria xx