There comes a point in time in everyone’s lives when we sadly have to say goodbye to our parents for the last time. It is an extremely difficult and painful time in everyone’s lives, but it is something that we must all go through. A major part of this process is telling your parents all the things you want them to know before they die. There is an endless list of things that you will want to tell them, which will be different for everyone, but unfortunately sometimes not all them will be able to be said. To aid the decision-making process, I have compiled a list of the top 10 things you want your parents to know before they die.
1. “Thank you for everything.”
Throughout our lives, our parents work tirelessly to provide us with everything we need and may want in life. Not only that, but they continuously work to make our lives better and easier by helping us out at any chance possible. We could all write a thousand things that we are thankful towards our parents for, but there is not enough time in the world for that. So just a brief “thank you for everything” will have to suffice.
2. “You make me happy.”
If someone were to ask what makes me the happiest person in the world, the answer would be my parents. The greatest thing about parents is that they’re the only ones who know how to cheer you up when you’re sad, calm you down when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and who can be just as happy and excited when you are! Without fail, they always know just what to do to make you smile, and seeing you happy is all that they wish for in life.
3. “You both inspire me.”
Our parents inspire us in ways that usually unbeknownst to them, and sometimes even unbeknownst to us. We gather inspiration from our parents through their marriage, their personal goals and success/achievements, and even in their failures/losses and the way they handle them. It is because of them, that we have gained valuable knowledge and experience in love and in life. Now, whenever we face challenges or difficulties in the future, we draw inspiration from our parents. Thanks for being a great inspiration mum and dad.
4. “I’m glad you never gave up on me.”
Without a doubt, everyone experienced a rebellious or disobedient phase during their teenage years, which for some lasted longer than others. In addition to that, we all have or will perform actions that will cause us or others trouble and grief; the main victims being our parents. At any one of these times our parents could have chosen to give up on us, perhaps even disown us in extreme cases, but the majority of them didn’t and for that, we are grateful. Personally, my parents never gave up on me when I encountered some major issues during my adolescent years and for that I am extremely appreciative. Sadly, there are those who aren’t as fortunate to have parents who accept their child for all their flaws and who are willing to help them no matter the situation, so if you are one of those who are more fortunate, don’t forget to express your gratitude towards your parents.
5. “You never failed.”
More occurrent in our modern society than before are parents increasingly feeling like failures. Thanks to the invention of the internet, there are increasing numbers of fellow parents sharing their parenting opinions and strategies online. A lot of these different strategies, techniques and opinions often combat each other, which causes disagreements. How one set of parents raises a child may not be seen as acceptable to other groups of parents, which can lead to some nasty comments and parents feeling like their parental skills have failed. Not only this, but factors such as wealth and possession value can often make parents feel like failures. However, our parents forget that we know how hard they worked for us, and what was more important was that we always had a roof above our heads and food on the table. So no mum and dad, you never failed and we hope you know that.
6. “I’m sorry.”
This is one big apology note for every time that your actions have had a negative impact on your parents. Whether it be that you acted disobedient, said something that hurt their feelings, or whether your actions outside of the home caused the family grief, this is your time to say that you truly apologise. Just like we said in the first point, there is an endless list of things that we want to apologise to our parents for, but there is not enough time for that. So it’s better to sum it up into one apology and say “I’m sorry mum and dad for being a bad daughter/son sometimes”.
7. “I forgive you.”
This one is completely optional, and depends on past or present situations. At some point in your life, there may have been an area/s of conflict or even a falling out between you and your parents, or maybe your parents have expressed guilt over something they believed they were wrong about. Whatever the cause or reason, this is the time to say you forgive them. Even if you’re still harbouring anger or hurt over the experience, it is better to say you forgive them now, whether you mean it or not, and let the issue be at peace, rather than never say it and forever live in regret that you didn’t.
8. “I hope I made you proud.”
One of the biggest fears in a child’s life is disappointing their parents. We as children and humans try hard to succeed in life, and accomplish our goals and dreams not only for ourselves, but for our parents. Every child wants to make their parents proud and to feel like they have been a “worthwhile child”. Naturally, it stems from the feeling of wanting to repay them for raising us and giving us everything we have. That’s why it’s one of our greatest hopes that by the time our parents pass, we will know that we have made them proud.
9. “I will miss you.”
This one was probably the hardest to write because it reminds me that I’m not going to be able to spend forever with my parents. It is a fear for most children too, even for adults who are lucky enough to still have their parents around, but at one point in time or another we all have to accept that the death of our parents is a part of the circle of life (yes, that was a Lion King reference). Once that time has come, you won’t be able to see or speak to your parents anymore, so you should let them know that you will miss them terribly. Knowing that in your heart, you will be thinking of them in every second of every hour of every day and wishing that they were there with you.
10. “I love you!”
I have saved the most important for last. If everyone could only let their parents know one thing before they died, it should be that you love them. We know when we were young and foolish, we would say that we hated them (spoiler: we lied, mum and dad), but we were wrong. We have always loved them, even during the times when they have made us upset, angry or quite frankly frustrated (which, happened a lot). And when the time comes to say goodbye, you will still love them, even when they are no longer with you.
Hopefully, this has helped you make a decision on what you want your parents to know before they die, or has given you an idea of what you would like to say to them when that time comes. But for now, I think the one thing we can all agree on is that we love them and we will miss them dearly.
What other things do you want to let your parents know before they die that wasn’t on the list? Let us know in the comment section below!
Rest in peace to all those grandparents and parents who have already passed.