I wish I had had more patience. I wish I had asked him about a few more things. I wish I had told him about a few more things. I wish I said I love you a few more times.
When I talk about this stuff, I realize I’m not the only one. I found out these regrets are pretty common. And if the friend I’m talking to doesn’t have any of these feelings, maybe I should take a closer look at that friend.
It helps that these feelings are common but it doesn’t make them hurt any less. When Dad was in Hospice care and I was trying to decide if I should go back to work for a few days, Jolene said to me…..There are no do-overs. This is it. Forget work. Just be there. It was good advice. I stayed. We all stayed. We were there for him. We were there for each other.
Jolene’s father after died suddenly from a ruptured aneurysm. He was fine in one moment and then suddenly gone. Uncle Jerry threw a clot after knee surgery. It took just an instant and he was gone. So different than Daddy. Harder for us. Easier for them. A whole different set of regrets. Things can be so mundane and then in a split second the world changes and will never be the same. How do any of us survive this stuff?
If you are the caretaker or in health care or worse … you are both, there can be even more regrets. Did I miss something? Could I have done more? Should I have gotten another opinion? Was Chemo and Radiation a mistake? When do you stop rescuing?
You can drown in the regrets and questions.
But I can’t change anything. No going back. No do-overs.
I’m trying to let go of my regrets. I can learn from some of things, but others I just have to accept and let go. Not any easy chore.
Knowing I did my best helps. Knowing that he was cared for with such love from all of us helps. Knowing he was not afraid helps. Knowing he didn’t suffer any more than he had to helps. Holding his hand until he was gone helps. Having kind friends and a wonderful councilor to help Me sort this all out really helps. Being surrounded with so much love of family and friends really really helps.
Those regrets? Maybe I can just let a few of them go.