Say it. Say you love them.

When a faraway friend died last year, I realized how often I’d thought of her, how many essays of mine she had appeared in (3)—essays that she never read. She may not have known the depth of the beautiful footprint she’d made in my life. I loved her as a dear and respected friend, but I’d never said so out loud.

I still hesitate.

When I love my friends, I still pause before I tell them, even though I know I risk losing the chance to ever say it to them one day. I don’t want to gush.

I try to think of Ana. For the times I could have said how much she meant and waited until a later that didn’t come.

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