Jun 3, 2011

Just a tip: Make it a priority to see and spend time with people you love. It matters more than fine china, more than that report you need to finish,

and more than getting the house clean.

Sorry, this one is not so easy and should not be taken lightly.

A good friend of mine found out the other day that a good friend of hers had died.
Awful awful news.
And this post is in now way meant to make her feel worse, or increase her regrets.

But, ya know, it makes a gal think.

Even in the best of circumstances there is bound to be regret around such news. You didn't visit them enough, you didn't tell them you loved them as much as you could have, you never made the time you meant to make. You thought there would be time to solve that issue, make that call, write that letter.
Ad infinitum.

I had a rash of deaths last year that I found out about on facebook. On facebook. This might seem like a divergence from the topic at hand, but the very fact that I found out about them on facebook seemed emblematic. I was no longer close enough to find out through a phone call or a personal email, I found out a social networking site.
This was, in every way, shape and form my fault.

But wait, there is more: these people had one very specific thing in common. Though they had been good friends at a point in my life, and still had bright burning significance in various parts of my brain, I had not made it to their weddings.
Blame money. Blame unforseeable events. Blame, honestly, my own discomfort of travelling so far to sit through a long event with people I barely knew.
All of these things, true true true.
But still I remembered the conversation around both events as I watched the condolensces roll, as I looked at their face suspended in life on my computer. Iwas embarassed to ad my words to the drop in the bucket that included people they met once, people who would miss them every day. I felt like a hypocrite. I felt like a fake. I felt cheated. I felt regret.

I am sure, if there are thoughts in death, or after death, they did not curse my absence. I am sure, in life, they had better axes to grind, and I am also sure that their wives, their parents, their closest friends would be the ones they most wanted to see on that day.

It isn't about them, and second guessing their responses, it is about you. It is about you and what you get to feel or not feel, see, or nto see. Because you are the one missing them now.

So what I couldn't help but to think as I circled around the events I missed was the opportunities I passed up to share joy with them

A wedding is just one day, but there were also birthdays and trips I didn't take and efforts I didn't make and phone calls I didn't return because I had SHIT TO DO.

Yes, I had shit to do, like the laundry, and work, and house rennovation and ....I don't know. You name it. Some of it important, some of it crucial, all of it, in the end, indicative of my priorties.

SO here is what I think: life presents a variety of financial, emotional and ideological barriers in the quest to spend enough time with those you love. And we are bound to be overwhelmed by all the reasons we can not take time or make time. But in the end, time is all you make, and it's only what you make it.

So give yourself the gift of time with those you love. Because I suspect that looking back on a lifetime of memories with someone you love will be worth far more than looking back on a lifetime of perfectly kept books, a mowed lawn and a lifetime of regrets and excuses.

1 comment:

Snowcap said...

How did I not see this until now?

Yeah, man. I'm feeling like the thing to do right now, besides reaching out to every friend I ever had, is just write some letters. With my very own aging tendonitis-ridden hands. Just so the people I love have a piece of something I touched, wrote out with my own hands, to hold. In case I lose them, too. So they know.