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.
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