Ten years ago, a few days before he left this Earth, Richard stood in our kitchen talking about how he couldn’t believe it had already been ten years since he had written Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. He said, “Kris, the beauty of this book series is that every ten years there’s a new generation of readers–people who need these books.”
Now, ten years later we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of the birth of a book series that has impacted millions of people around the globe. Our publisher, Hachette Book Group, is celebrating with all new covers! And, we are celebrating all year long with rich stories and testimonials from the people who love the series.
Every week I receive so many heartfelt letters from readers who have just discovered Richard’s passing. At first, they are shaken—and then deeply moved that his writing keeps him so alive in the hearts of many.
I received this tender and touching letter that I want to share with you from a lovely reader named Heidi the other day. This is one story in hundreds that still come in showing why the Don’t Sweat series remains relevant today. It’s proof that the movement to surrender the small stuff to live the big stuff—and live our most vibrant lives has been reignited.
So happy to share Heidi’s letter:
I live in London UK and my dearly beloved was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013, aged 47. The doctors told us to ‘put a bottle of wine in the chiller for a celebration in 20 years time’ as they thought they could control it but 20 gruelling and traumatic months later, my beautiful Mat died just shortly after his 49th birthday, 2 yrs ago.
In the immediate wake of pure grief, I decided that the world would be too unbearable if we didn’t keep Mat’s kindness rippling through it somehow. I explained at his memorial how two of his favourite books were the Alchemist and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and a couple of people have told me that they have bought and given away so many copies of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff which makes me smile.
It would have been Mat’s 51st birthday last weekend and our tradition is to pay it forwards in some way. His children like to attach a £5 to a note to a balloon and I like to leave notes anonymously around London that hopefully spread a little love. This year I decided to add Don’t Sweat into my theme so attached is a pic for you!
As I was making my cards and marvelling at the simplicity and genius of the Don’t Sweat messages, I thought I really ought to let Richard know how much his work is flowing along with the ripples of love and kindness from Mat. So I was shocked and very sad to read of his death. I wanted immediately to tell Mat, having been such a fan for so long, I know he would have been even more moved and compelled to live the ethos.
Losing my husband, best friend, soul mate and the love of my life is excruciating, as you know. It is giving myself and Mat’s children a great strength and joy to do something nice for others in our darkest hours. I derive a lot of meaning from being able to send out these little notes of love and wisdom and inspiration and I’m so happy that I thought of including chapters from Don’t Sweat. I think I might make it a big more of a regular thing.
There’s no need for Kristine to reply to this – I just wanted to let her know and hope that she feels the warmth and love too in knowing that whilst we’re continuing to keep Mat’s spirit alive we’re also very much spreading Richard’s light too.