As a medium, I can’t tell you how many readings I’ve done where Spirit’s said that we don’t express enough gratitude to each other while we’re still alive. From You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: Life-Changing Lessons from Heaven.
The souls of young people in particular like to say how grateful they are for their quality of life, especially if loved ones made them feel “normal” when they were sick. Read between the lines and you’ll see that Spirit’s emphasis is on how good we make each other feel, and how we take that gratitude with us into the afterlife because it’s so valuable. But why wait until you’re dead to tell your father, best friend, or even a sympathetic therapist how grateful you are for what they mean to you? It’s so easy to do and can bring so much pleasure to you and the person hearing it.
Your loved ones’ souls also tell me they appreciate when you go above and beyond for them. At a live show in Riverside, California, I read a woman named Dru whose firefighter husband, Rich, died from a sudden and unexpected brain aneurysm. Shortly after they returned home from their honeymoon, Rich became ill from liver disease, and for ten more years, Dru cared for him until he passed away. That meant driving him to countless doctors, ER visits, surgeries, and specialists—sometimes going an hour each way to the facilities, up to three days a week. After receiving a liver transplant and living a healthy, medically regimented lifestyle, another frightening issue presented itself. Rich’s kidneys began to fail, so Dru volunteered to give him one of hers. They’d just begun the screening process for Dru when, after a minor surgery for Rich to compensate for a small congenital heart valve issue, he collapsed and died the next day at home.
When I channeled Rich’s soul, he and Dru experienced a moving reunion full of gratitude. Spirit validated its presence by mentioning their honeymoon in Hawaii, that Dru was wearing two pieces of jewelry he’d given her, and that she’d seen his spirit in her backyard (a few days before, Dru saw the shape of a person near a tree and felt Rich’s soul while gardening). But what really mattered to Dru was that Rich finally thanked her for her devotion and care. He wanted her to know how much he valued the ways she nurtured him and that he thinks she is wonderful and deserves to be loved. His soul also told me that he chose to leave this world before she could give him her kidney, because he felt she’d already given him more than enough of herself. “It was so nice to hear from Rich that he appreciated me. Other people told me it was great how I took care of him, but I needed to hear it from him,” Dru later said. “He was often grumpy from feeling sick and tired, so I had to practice patience a lot. It surprised me to hear his thanks and appreciation, and I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I heard it.”
Spirit says we get so caught up in our terrible moods, bad hair days, and countless errands that we forget how important we are to one another. I’ve talked about how we’re all interconnected, but in terms of gratitude, you should also remember the domino effect that a gracious attitude has on everyone around you. Every moment of your day is part of a chain of events. Take this scenario, for instance. You wake up resenting your spouse for not unloading the dishwasher, which distracts him, so he leaves the house to go to the hardware store, where he knocks over a display, that falls on the owner, whose injury freaks out his wife. Or, you wake up grateful that your spouse usually unloads the dishwasher so you give him a pass this time, which makes him feel loved, so he cheers up the hardware store owner, who’s in such a good mood that he brings his wife flowers.
See how that works? Spreading positivity like gratitude reminds me of that song my kids used to sing, “And the Green Grass Grows All Around,” which is about the interdependence of a bug, bird, and tree. I read online that this is called a cumulative song, which is where the first line of each verse introduces a new item until there’s a list of them that makes up the tune and its story. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is another example in this genre, with its countdown of leaping lords, dancing ladies, milking maids . . . you know the rest. Anyway, our lives remind me of a cumulative song too, in that all your actions build on each other to shape the world around you. When we consider how you affect every piece of the puzzle, you can see how everyone benefits when you feel grateful.