“When I die, don’t come to my grave to tell me how much you love me and how much you miss me, because those are the words I want to hear while I’m still alive.” ~ Unknown
As a priest, I have certainly had a lot of funerals and been to a lot of funerals. Each funeral is unique because of the individuals involved. However, each funeral also has the same dynamic and components. So often, I hear family members and friends say, “I wish I would have…” The lists go on and on. I wish I would have said something, I wish I would have done something, I wish I would have acted differently, I wish I would have been around more, et cetera.
Why do we so often wait until it is too late?
It fills me with joy when I hear people at wakes and funerals recount a different litany. Instead of the “I wish” litany, they say things that they have been extremely happy about accomplishing such as I am so glad we took that trip, I am so happy that I was with him when he died, I am so glad that I told her what I thought of her while she was still alive, I am so happy I was able to be of help, et cetera.
Celebrations, rather than regrets, make the grieving process easier and the healing come sooner. When we live without the cloud of regret around our heads, it is easier to get on with our lives.
How would you like to live your life? Happy and fulfilled and with no regrets or sad and unfulfilled with all sorts of regrets? The manner you live your life is entirely up to you and will be based upon what you say and do.
FAITH ACTION: Compile a mental list of things that you have been neglecting to do for others and begin to remedy the situation today, if possible.