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Posted by Cathryn Mahoney on

When facing the loss of a loved one, it seems an opportune time to reflect on one's own life as well as that of the one who has passed away.  I recently spent time with an elderly relative during the last 2 weeks of her life and was at her bedside when she passed.  She spoke about her life and the regrets she had, particularly in putting things right between herself and others.  She had found it easier to take no action when she had felt unsure at the time of the right thing to do, but as she spoke about it and apologized for not acting in what she knew now, and had really known all along, would have been the correct way, she was able then to let go of the guilt she had felt.  

Maybe you can think of times when you wished you had done things differently, whether it was an action that affected another person or prevented you from living a more fulfilled life.  I, for one, can think of times I would have liked to do things differently, but its also important to recognize when others may prevent you from doing so, or when it is another person's responsibility to act differently.

Usually it is lack of or poor communication that prevents people from dealing with situations and with relationship difficulties at the time when they break down, and then avoidance strategies kick in.  Regrets are often about connections with others, or missing opportunities that come our way.  

The learning I have gained from my recent loss, and the time reflecting on my loved one's life, is that we must avoid having regrets.  I don't want to reach the end of my life and say I wished I had done this or that, I want to do all I can to achieve the things I know I am capable of achieving now, to have the rich experiences, to travel, to meet new people, to challenge myself to overcome obstacles and hurdles in life. I want to work on the relationships that are important to me, yet recognize it is a two way process.  I also want to help others to live their life to the full and have no regrets.  Hopefully, by reading this, it will empower you too to live a life with no regrets.


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