live with no regrets

My grandma died in June 2015, and it hasn’t been an easy journey since. But every difficult day is a reminder of one thing: I can’t change the past. I have a lot of regrets, and I could have prevented at least some of them. But I can’t change that now. I need to learn and move on – but that is much harder said than done.

There is a very likely possibility that she may have died intentionally because of the decision to skip medications she needed. In looking back, I see other signs that seems to make this very likely possibility even more probable. This is the source of many regrets, and I am learning that I cannot blame myself for what I did not realize was happening. The questions that I ask myself are: what if I said “I love you” more often, and should I have prayed for her more, and what else could I have done differently.

With my grandpa, who died about two years before my grandma, I ended every visit with “I love you” and made sure I meant those words in my heart, so that I would not regret the last thing I spoke to him. Looking back, I can say that the last words I ever told him were “I love you.” I started this less than a year before his passing, when it was becoming increasingly more evident that he would soon pass away. I didn’t this with my grandma. She wasn’t getting increasingly more sick, and she seemed to be doing fine. I know of similar stories. I have had friends of friends die recently. Healthy young adults die of heart attacks, teenagers end their lives after showing no signs,…

Live with no regrets. Tell people you love them. Who knows? It might be the last time you see them. Leave nothing unsaid. You might not have another chance to tell them what you need to say. This is the hardest part for me, because I tend to procrastinate the more difficult conversations. Don’t go to sleep angry, because they might not be there tomorrow to forgive. Life is short. It is here, and then it is gone. Don’t forget that. I made that mistake once, and I have to live with the decisions I made. I also have to move on; for me, moving on means learning and not repeating that same mistake.

Live with no regrets. Tell people that you love them. Leave nothing unsaid. Don’t go to sleep angry. Remember that life is short. One day, tomorrow won’t come, so live with no regrets.

dealing with death

When someone you love passes away, it is hard. And I think it’s always harder than we expect. It’s hard when we have to do the little things they used to do, because it’s a reminder that they aren’t there to do those things anymore. It’s hard during holidays when we want to go visit them but we can’t. It’s hard to see other people with their grandparents, parents, children, friends, whoever when we have recently lost our own.

I often fail to notice the little things they do until they stop doing the little things. I will find myself expecting the yearly birthday card. It never comes. The $10 I got every birthday and Christmas… that won’t come either. I look forward to those visits on Easter, once or twice during the summer, on Thanksgiving, around Christmastime, and maybe another time during winter break or spring break. I wonder if my parents planned anything with them. Nope. Oh yeah, they’re not here to be visited. I miss the corn that was always cooked to perfection (You could taste the love that went into it). I miss the 20-minute phone calls asking if my grandma needs more ink for the printer or food or anything else. I miss sitting next to my grandfather and being with him, even if he thought I was someone else because Alzheimer’s had erased his memory to several years before I was born.

I might never understand why people close to us die. I might never understand why 5 year-old children are taken from their parents or why young adults die in their sleep. Here is the good news: we don’t have to understand. It doesn’t really sound like good news – at first. But it is. It is good news because it takes the pressure off of us and puts it onto a God who does have a plan. It isn’t easy, as well all know, because it requires a lot of faith in God. We have to believe that He does have a purpose for the death of the seemingly healthy 19-year-old who died of a sudden heart attack and for the death of a grandma when it was least expected.

From my personal experience, death can be what leads people to Christ. Their Bible is discovered when going through their belongings. Scripture is read at the funeral. The dying person lives a testimony of faith all the way until death. Dealing with their death causes renewed faith in Christ, because there is nowhere else to go. This doesn’t really make it any easier. It simply gives us a reason to trust God more.

Death is hard and confusing. We won’t always understand why someone had to die, and that’s ok. We might miss them every day for the rest of our lives. But God allows death for a reason, and we need to trust that He is working and doing things that we can’t see.