Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? ~Mary Oliver
Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.
Who among us hasn’t had those feelings?
You know, the ones where we wish we could go back in time and “be there” for someone who leaves us too soon.
My ex-husband lost his daughter to an accident when she was not even 20 years of age.
“I have no regrets,” he told me, “because we were very current.”
To him it meant that they had no unfinished business.
No unfinished business.
How many of us can say that?
That discussion inspired me to have a series of deep conversations with my own mother about our own unfinished business.
When she died, a few years later, I had no regrets. We were “current.”
Well, so, here’s the thing. We are all so damn busy all the time that we don’t take time to do things we’d like to do with people we love. We act as though there’s unlimited time, when the fact is, death can take anyone at any time for any reason.
I learned some of my best lessons from my ex-husband, who, in another culture, would have been a wise man or spiritual elder.
From him I learned the importance of preparing for death–ours or someone else’s. I learned to take time to be with those we love and to do what I could to be current with them.
I learned to recognize that life is finite and unexpected deaths are not uncommon. Death may always seem “too soon” but for some it really is. Like his daughter.
If you know someone who might be suicidal, reach out a hand of support. So many resources came to light after the suicide of Robin Williams, advice and guidance can be found all over the web.
Friend who are sick with chronic or terminal illness also need our support and love. Make a meal. Bring some flowers or books. Whatever is appropriate–do it now so there are no regrets.
Our parents, grandparents, elders –they’re closer to the veil than most of us. They won’t be with us forever. Take time with them now.
And really, we’re all living on death row, aren’t we? So spend time appreciating your loved ones and letting them know you do.
Live so you’ll have no regrets.