You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
A famous painting portrays a dying child, his parents, and the doctor in a one-room cabin. When I’ve asked other doctors a multiple-choice question about what the painting should be named, many say “Too Late.” Why? Because they see the doctor, chin in hand, thinking about what he could possibly do that might help the child, who is beyond help. The parents are seen grieving in the background.
But it isn’t too late, because the doctor could be helping the parents to survive their loss. Most of us are poorly prepared for loss. We deny it. As children, we are often not allowed to attend funerals or discuss death. Our pets die and are immediately replaced.
We need to remember that it is never too late to help one another, and never too late to deal with our feelings. Burying our losses in the ground or in our bodies doesn’t do the trick. So help the living and don’t save the flowers for the grave.
As long as there is someone who needs your help, it is never too late to reach out.