Listeners Respond: Things You Would Have Said

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Over the last few days, we've been asking our listeners, "If you could go back and say something to someone in your past — an ex, an old boss, a deceased loved one — what do you wish you could tell them?" We've discovered that it's a question that strikes quite a nerve. 

We spoke to Jackie Hooper, who explained why. Jackie is a life coach and the author of "The Things You Would Have Said." Three years ago, she started asking people what they wish they'd said to the old friends, former teaches, bosses, or beloved relatives they never quite spoke their mind to. Today we're sharing some of the most poignant stories from our listeners.

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [3]

Rebecca Journigan from Michigan

I heard the story this morning about the woman whose friend's mother bought her the maternity clothes. It was a lovely story and I cried on my way to work. I wish I knew that it all worked out for her!

Mar. 29 2012 10:57 AM
R D Harmony from Oklahoma City, OK

Merv (no phony "dear," please)

I'm an old man now, but you should know that you are the sorriest example of professional (or non-professional, for that matter) services that I've ever seen.

As a so-called marriage therapist, you offered nothing of value, no new information, advice or suggestions. You took sides--you provided no useful education--you did not reveal your highly biased agenda.

You proceeded to demean, often silently, nearly every aspect regarding me and my life, while offering not one iota of validation for my abilities, insights, efforts, and dedication to marital and family life.

I have made it my job to check with others that saw you for marital difficulties.

It was so easy to reveal that you did far more harm than good. I found no example of anyone who you helped, in any way. (I'm rather resourceful, and found dozens of cases. Until I was exposed to your incompetency, I had never experienced the level of bitterness that you engendered.)

I just want you to know that the powerless have no voice to describe their complete disgust with you.

I will always remember your admonishment and ultimatum, relating to one suggestion I made: "I'm in charge, here!"

What an a**hole ! ...and a complete disservice to those who wish to assist others in some meaningfully supportive and helpful ways. People like you exemplify why the Consumer Reports nationwide study (of over 150,000 people) reported universally lowest scores for 'marriage therapy.'

You are a total disgrace and have contributed to far more pain than you'll ever know.

At least, you now have a hint as, after many years, I'm sending it anonymously to your agency.

They'll be able to figure it out.

I wish you well as you consider rectifying the many errors of your ways.

Mar. 29 2012 10:28 AM
John Weidman

Two comments, one important, one a good deal less so. First: Several years ago I found myself in a men's room at Madison Square Garden, deserted except for the man at the urinal next to me: Walt Frazier. Everybody in New York bumps into celebrities from time to time and I believe in leaving them alone, but watching Frazier play when I was a kid had given me so much pleasure I found myself wanting to thank him. I had finally gathered my thoughts when I heard a flush, turned, and found that both Frazier, and the moment, were gone. Next: My father died about fifteen years ago. He had had a series of strokes and, at the end, had gone into a kind of coma. I was at my parents' apartment doing what I could to help my Mom through this wrenching experience and was on my way out the door when the home health aide who had been taking care of my Dad stopped me. She said, if there's anything you want to say to your father you should do it now. I know it seems like he can't hear you, but he will. Without the intervention of this remarkable woman this would never have occurred to me. In any case, I did as she suggested. I sat with my Dad for almost an hour, telling him all kinds of essential things people, at least people in my family, don't always say out loud. He died the next day and I have often wondered how much more complex and difficult my continuing relationship with him would have been if I hadn't been given this wise and compassionate piece of advice from this extraordinary woman.

Mar. 29 2012 09:21 AM

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