I attended a funeral this weekend. Funerals are never easy, but this one was particularly hard. It was for a wonderful woman whose life was cut shorter than one would expect. Or hope for. Afterwards, a friend of mine said he thought funerals are a way for those of us left behind to examine our own lives. I felt the same way. I wondered while I was listening to all the accolades and beautiful stories and wonderful ways they described this person, "What would people say about me?" I want to be the kind of person that someone would say, "She never said a harsh word about anyone," or "She loved unconditionally." The thing is, I am not those things ... I am flawed and imperfect and struggle through life like the rest of us. I have made mistakes. And will make many more I am certain. But then I am reminded that life is not about perfection. It is about love. And grace.
I recently read an article written by a nurse who worked with patients who knew they were dying. When she questioned them about their regrets, these were the most common:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
The article made me think back to a number of years ago when another young woman, a very good friend of mine, was dying and how we had talked about the importance of living a life with no regrets. That is not an easy thing to do, I think. But something to strive for.
Thanks for making this world a better place, sweet Mimi.
May the love you poured out onto all of us here on earth be remembered forever.