Thursday, September 16, 2010


I read this article on the most common dying regrets as reported by a hospice caregiver.  Her list doesn't apply to me - the only one I connect with is expressing my feelings more.  (If I'm missing something, especially spending time with you, let me know!)

What would I regret If Tomorrow Never Comes*?  I definitely want more time with everyone, and there are activities I want to do - reading and travel come to mind - but nothing I would feel remains undone or lacking.  I'd love to take a mulligan on some past choices, but none require me to make them right.  It doesn't hurt that my spiritual beliefs leave me expecting to see what's important (ya'll) in Heaven, and I have a feeling I'll be able to find out the ending to The Wheel of Time (might even get Robert Jordan's version of the last book!).

When I think about regret, I get a nagging feeling I might be overlooking/repressing/ignoring something, but I have no clue what it is.  Am I unusual in not feeling any regrets?

*I grew up in the 1990s listening to Garth Brooks, and am not (too) ashamed to admit it.

1 comment:

  1. In trying to articulate a response to this, I found that I have distinctly different answers to the questions, "What do you regret?" and "What would you regret if you were dying right now?"

    I, like you and everyone else, have made a few choices that I'm not proud of. I have a handful of memories that cause me to cringe, most of which have become mercifully foggy over the years. But as far as true regrets - things I dearly wish I had done differently, choices that would have led me down an entirely separate path to an undiscovered life - I have none.

    However, if I imagine that the chair is which I sit is my deathbed, my answer changes. Two years ago, there would have been no change; then, 23 months ago, I became a mother. When I think of dying now, I am overcome with regrets, not for moments I have lived, but for those that I would be missing. I'm stricken with a prime-time-TV-drama-style montage of the important moments of my son's life that I would not see, with a few unsettling images of the adult product of being raised without a mother - unkempt, awkward, inept with women. Perhaps I'm overestimating my impact on my son's development. But selfish or not, these are the hypothetical scenarios that have the power to bring actual tears to my eyes.