Say It Before It’s Too Late


Cherry blossom
Cherry blossom

 

Twenty years ago, writer Yuan Liangcheng studied for a master’s degree in psychology at New York University.

One day, she was inspired to write an essay on the deathbed confessions of ordinary people.

So, she went to the library in New York to collect her materials, only to find that most of them were the last words of celebrities who had died.

She spent three hundred and fifty dollars on an advertisement in The New York Times asking people to relay the last words of dying people. What happened next was unexpected.

A few days later, hundreds of letters arrived from all over the United States. They were from high-income people like Wall Street analysts and university professors. There were also letters from marginalized people like strippers and AIDS patients. Homemakers and ordinary people like mechanics from Detroit also responded.

A terminally ill old man wrote in a letter that he used to be a postman when he was young. However, he had a rival whom he was jealous of, and played a trick on him, which eventually led to a girl’s death.

For the rest of his life, he was so overcome with remorse that he chose to remain single. He had never told anyone why. He said that today he was willing to confess his secret because he’s going to die soon. Now that he has confessed, he can relax.

Yuan compiled the stories into a book called Say It Before It’s Too Late: The Last Words of New Yorkers, which emotionally impacted tens of millions of readers around the world after its publication.

In the book, Yuan said: I have read hundreds of stories of dying patients and found that no matter which class or status they belonged to, what they all wanted to do in their last days was surprisingly similar.

They wanted to say thank you, apologize, say goodbye, and express their love.

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In life, when we are young, we only want to hurry along in our tasks.

Only when the fire of life is gradually extinguished do we discover what is most dear to us.

Source: Internet Group share

20年前,作家袁苡程在纽约大学攻读心理学硕士学位。

有一天,她突然想写一篇关于普通人在临终时忏悔的论文。

于是,她去纽约实立图书馆搜集素材,结果发现大部分都是名人死亡时的遗言。

她花了三百五十美元在《纽约时报》上登了一则广告:

要求观众寄给她临终前要说的话。

后来发生的事情始料未及。

几天后,许许多多信件从美国各地寄来,他们是华尔街分析师、大学教授这样的上等人士,也有脱衣舞女、爱滋病人这样的社会边缘人,还有家庭妇女、底特律的汽车维修工这样的普通人。

有一位身患绝症的老人在来信中写到:

自己年轻时当过邮差,因为嫉妒情敌而恶作剧,最后导致了一个姑娘死去。

后来的人生,他一直带着深深的忏悔,选择独身。

并没有人知道这样的选择是为了为什么。

今天愿意和盘托出,把这个沉重的秘密卸下。因为他很快就要走了。

只有亲口忏悔才能安心。

袁苡程把来信中的故事整理成一本叫做《再不说就来不及》的书,出版后感动了全球几千万读者。

在书里,袁苡程说:我看过了上百个临终患者的故事,发现无论什么样的阶级,什么样的地位,每个人在最后的时光里最想做的事情却惊人的一致。

那就是:道谢,道歉,道别,道爱。

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人生就是如此,当年华尚好的时候,我们一心想的只有往前冲。

只有生命之火渐渐熄灭的时候,我们才会发现什么是我们最珍视的。

 

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