It’s not often I write an article with tears in my eyes but today is the day. My mother, Anna Mae, received her wings two years ago on August 29th. Unlike my father’s passing, my brothers and I knew the time was coming but still weren't ready to say goodbye. A friend of mine suggested we read ‘The Four Things That Matter Most, A Book About Living’ by Ira Bock. It was divine timing and exactly what we needed for guidance in my mom’s final days.

I quickly skimmed the book to learn the ‘four things’ so I could email a brief synopsis to my two brothers. I also added a fifth that our mom needed to hear from us so she could truly let go.

Please forgive me for………
I forgive you for…….
Thank you….
I love you….
“Goodbyes are the thing we dread the most. In saying goodbye we acknowledge an inevitable separation. Yet life often becomes more precious when we acknowledge our impermanence. By saying or conveying the essence of The Four Things, even painful farewells can contribute to the history and wholeness of love between two people. When The Four Things have been said, however goodbye can also be bittersweet, accompanied by a deepening awareness of who we are- of what it means to be human. When someone close to us is dying, the awareness of this impending, final parting can wrench our soul. Saying goodbye offers the person we’re parting with our blessing and gives them the gift of our love.” From The Four Things That Matter Most

The emails began flying back and forth with insights of how we were feeling and what was transpiring with each visit to mom’s bedside. My oldest brother, Steve, sent us an email that summed things up perfectly, “Everything has a time and place to happen, we just don’t realize it until it is over we can’t change the outcome even if we knew what it would be. Everyone will say their own goodbyes in their own ways and may not know they did. There are many people in our past that are watching over all of us at this time making sure that all happens as it should.”

Our family was fortunate that we didn’t have rifts to heal. The Four Things gave us the opportunity to share what was on our heart and also gave us the courage to let go. My brother was right in looking back that the timing of everything that happened was as it should. Mom made the decision to leave this world so she could once again be with our father, her husband of 56 years.

The Four Things can be shared at any time when you feel the need to clear up “unfinished business and complete relationships”. For additional information please visit:

In loving memory of my amazing parents, Anna Mae and Charles. I love you and miss you so much……

Author's Bio: 

Operating with the knowledge that the best teachers are those who teach from their own experience, Joyce has tapped into amazing information that changed her life. Joyce added this powerful knowledge to her experience in sales, consulting and coaching for business leaders and entrepreneurs. The result was Mind By Design, which combines science, self and a Layman’s terms approach for taking clients and audiences to the next level of success.