Death and Regret

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Grief and Regret

deathandregret
Today, I’ve been pondering death and regret. When I was young, when someone close to me passed on, I was sad. Just the thought that I’d never see those individuals again broke my heart. I knew I’d miss them and frankly to this day I still do.

As I’ve aged, it seems like death and loss visits more and more often. Friends, relatives, colleagues. Sometimes, it feels like I’ve got more loss in my life than gain.

Like when I was young, sometimes the loss is absolutely devastating. I miss the person and feel like my life has a hole. Although I feel blessed to have known these individuals, I can’t fathom how my life could ever be complete again.

More and more though, I’ve noticed a different feeling. I find myself grieving deeply for people I hardly know. With these individuals there is a definitive connection but I can’t say I was close. Yet, I feel the hurt so very deeply that my foundation threatens to crumble.

Recently, I felt this deep loss and was able to label it as regret. I feel like I missed out on an opportunity. I was just simply too busy, too distracted, too intimidated to get to know this person. To truly know them enough to fully grieve their loss.

So I guess it could be said that I’m grieving the loss of what could have been. Opportunities missed. People who I had a connection with but didn’t bother to create a real relationship. I never got to really truly know them, or them me.

I guess I’m noticing that a lot lately. Life seems so very chaotic and much of the time all I can do is hold on tight hoping that perhaps someday the spinning will stop. Then, maybe I’ll have time to do all the things I want to do. Maybe I’ll even have time to connect to those important to me.

The thing is the older I get, the more health scares I get, the more loss I feel, the more I realize how much of a blur my life has been. I’ve been so very busy and yes I have this laundry list of accomplishments. I am even loved and I love back.

But am I truly happy? Do these things that I do really matter or are they a complete waste of my time and energy? Are they worth the sacrifices? Do these aspects isolate me or empower me?

Most of all, where is the magic boundary line between what needs to be done and what needs to be experienced? The things that make all the difference. The things that define a life well lived. At the end of the day, how do we determine that the losses we suffer are bitter sweet because we miss the individuals rather than regretting an opportunity lost?

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Tami Brady

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