Expressing Gratitude to Others

“I remember when my late father died and we – my mother and brothers and I – were sitting shiva. Time and again people would come and tell us of kindnesses he had done for them, in some cases more than fifty years before. Many people who have sat shiva have had similar experiences. How moving, I thought, and at the same time how sad that my father was not there to hear their words. What comfort it would have brought him to know that despite the many hardships he faced, the good he did was not forgotten. How tragic that we so often keep our sense of gratitude to ourselves, saying it aloud only when the person to whom we feel indebted has left this life, and we are comforting his or her mourners. But that is the human condition. We never fully know how much we have given others – how much the kind word, the thoughtful deed, the comforting gesture changes lives and is never forgotten.”

Covenant and Conversation: Numbers p. 138