I know this is fiction, but I think that this is so, so important. In “real life” Vincent never got to hear someone say that he was one of the greatest men who ever lived. But we have that opportunity, perhaps even responsibility, now, in our own lives, today, tomorrow, and every day, to tell people how important they are to us. Maybe we won’t say they’re one of the greatest people who ever lived (but who knows, maybe they are), but we can say other things which might impact them equally, or even more. “Small” things, “big” things, you never can actually know how “big” something might be to someone else, even if it seemed “small” to you. “You look nice today,” might be just what that person with an eating disorder or self image issues needs to boost their confidence enough for them to have the first really good day they’ve had in weeks. “That food you cooked last night was really good!” might be the very words of encouragement that exhausted mom needs to help her get through a tough time with her kids, or even her husband. “Thank you,” might be the exact phrase that young man, middle aged man, or old man who served his country needed to hear on a day he was really struggling with his PTSD. “I love you,” might be the sentiment that saves a friend or family member from hurting themselves when they go home at night and feel alone again. “I miss you.” “You did a good job.” “You’re hair looks great today.” They’ve so small, but they can mean so much. Sometimes, of course, there are big things we need to tell people too. Go to your mom, thank her for everything she’s done for you. Let those who have impacted you know how important they are to you. Don’t take any moment that you’re with someone you love for granted. If you think they’re great, tell them. If you love them, let them know. If you’re thankful for them, show it.
Maybe, if Vincent had heard these words in real life things would have changed for him, maybe, like in this episode, they wouldn’t have. But you never know. And even if you can’t save someone’s life, you can chance someone’s life. And let me tell you, if you loose someone, and you never tried to tell them these things, you’ll never know how you might have helped them. I’m not saying you should look back at “all the things you should have said.” That can tear a person apart. What I’m saying is this, take all the energy you have left over from the things, the love, that you have for people who are gone, and give it to the people who are right in front of you. Maybe you know them well, maybe you hardly know them at all. This man never knew Vincent Van Gogh heard a word he said. But you never, ever know what kind of impact you can have in someone’s life. “We’re all a story in the end.” And you can help make someone else’s “a good one.”