A friend of mine lost her oldest brother a few days ago. He had a massive stroke and died a couple of days later. He was a fairly young man — in his mid 50s. What if I died in my mid 50s? That was a sobering thought! How many things would I regret – if I knew I was dying – leaving undone? I don’t have a lot of regrets at this point in my life; very few about things done, slightly more about things I haven’t done.
I actually can’t think of a thing I’ve done that I regret. Quitting college, changing career paths. Even the choices I wouldn’t make again were right at the time, given where I was in my life process.
But I can think of things left undone that I regret. I regret not pursuing a hard conversation that my father initiated as he was dying. I regret not being a better daughter to my aging parents, or a better sister to my own now-deceased brother.
And ya know what? Regrets suck!
I can’t go back and change my relationship with my parents or my brother. I can’t go back and change the almost non-existent relationship my other brother and I have had through the years. I can’t go back and revisit the family and friends’ birthdays and anniversaries I’ve missed. I can’t go back and change the past.
But, I can look to my present differently. I can look at the circumstances of my life and try to make some informed decisions about what I think I might regret as I come to the end of my life, and I can start to do things differently in those circumstances. It’s too late to be a good sister to Ron, but I can try to be a better sister to the siblings I have left. It’s too late to be a better daughter to my own parents, but I can make sure my relationship with John’s parents is on track – and stays that way. I can’t go back and nurture the friendships I had with old friends Kim or Denise, but I can nurture the important friendships I have now.
What can you do to make sure you have as few regrets as possible at the end of your life?
This post was written as part of a blog hop being sponsored by Liv Lane. Stop by to check out the other posts!