words… in life & death

It’s a phrase I’ve come to conclude, few of us understand. Fewer still, consistently employ…

Let our words be seasoned with salt.

Perhaps we should first note ten of the plethora of purposes for salt:

  • Salt preserves.
  • It enhances texture.
  • It adds flavor.
  • Salt is a binding agent; it holds things together.
  • Salt keeps fruit from browning — from going bad faster.
  • It exfoliates — getting rid of dead cells.
  • It removes stain.
  • It alleviates odor.
  • Salt heals mouth sores.
  • It also reduces swelling and stings. 

Funny. We oft think of salt on our veggies, meat, and absolutely anything potato. But imagine the keen wisdom when applied further to our words…

Salty words hold things together, alleviating the unpleasant and distasteful. 

Salty words actually allow for the healing of what’s sore, swells, and stings.

Thus, salt, in its more intangible form, equates to an unparalleled graciousness. Kindness, and tolerance, too. It is a form of speech that is tender and truthful, undeniably thoughtful. Even when tempting to do otherwise, to season our words with salt means to resist any condemnation or complaint, bitterness or boast.

And this is for always, friends…

In life. And death. Even when it’s hard.

I read recently how death is the ultimate equalizer. And how even then — maybe even more — our words matter much. We don’t speak ill of the dead — meaning we still employ the salt seasoning — because death humbles us all; we each will face the same fate one day, standing no doubt, before an active, living and loving God. I will add one tangent, personal comment — and maybe this is my emotion speaking more than my logic. But one of the most unattractive things to me is the modern day usage of social media to denigrate the dead. I don’t care who the dead is. I simply see that as an utter absence of wisdom.

So let me be more personal for mere moment more…

Someone I deeply love passed away yesterday.

He was gift to me and my family. He loved us deeply and we loved him back. What a joy it was to watch him interact with my sons over the years. He’d play with them, joke with them, ask them great, probing questions… never offering judgment, even through those oft-erratic, hormonal teen years. He was hospitable always, gentle and unquestionably loyal. He was so generous with us. Always. He loved Jeeps, British Labradors, and a good pot of coffee. He always had a full pot waiting for any waking in his home. He was faithful, sincere, and encouraging of me since my earliest days.

I remember, in fact, as a kid, hanging at summer family camp — and it being one of those situations in the evening where the adults were gathered round, playing games, but only the older kids were really capable of playing. I was 6 or 7.

The adults were playing Rack-O, the classic card game in which you “rack ‘em and stack ‘em,” so-to-speak. Bob, always inviting and aware of who’s in the room, asked me to be his partner, making me feel included, affirming me even then. From that moment on, he and I always played together.

Bob was always good at seasoning his words with salt. He would add a subtle, keen wit, too, of course — another admirable gift.

Death, undoubtedly, puts life in perspective, if we pause long enough to embrace the sobering lesson. So after silent tears shed still this morn, I’m off to the store today. Need to buy that Rack-O game. Need to teach my kids.

May we always honor others, friends.

With our actions. With our words. No matter what.

With deep gratitude…


8 Replies to “words… in life & death”

  1. Beautifully written Ann… your friend is honored in this … I hope this truth will prevail in all of us. ❤️

  2. Ann, as always, what a gift to read what your heart is feeling. I never knew Bob, however, I know how much you cared for him as well as your family and vice versa. Sending hugs, love and prayers to you dear friend.
    This post is such a keeper. ❤️

  3. I appreciate your thoughtful insights on salt. And your honoring of Bob brought a tear…

  4. Prayers for you and his family. Thank you for sharing. Hugs, dear cousin.

  5. Thank you for these beautiful words. And the reminder of how our words do matter. A lot.

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