October 22nd, 2011. Five years.
It’s been five years since my dad passed away from ALS.
Each year on the anniversary has brought about a new set of thoughts.
The overarching theme of the past 5 years is that grief doesn’t have an expiration date or a schedule. Today, on the 5th anniversary, I’m actually quite calm and grateful. Random times throughout the year though, the expected thoughts of sadness and anger pop up, sometimes very randomly.
This year’s thought is on no regrets, and being thankful for that.
Because my dad was diagnosed with ALS a full year+ before his death, it gave us the privilege of reverse-engineering what the end would look like.
Everything I ever wanted to say to him, everything he wanted to say to me, shared experiences, unfinished feelings…they all had an expiration date now.
I’m grateful that neither of us dragged our feet in crossing those potential regrets off of the list.
Everything we wanted to say and clear up about the past, we were able to.
Any bits of wisdom that could be passed down, were.
Though the disease sucked and was painful to experience, his company never was. It was an awesome experience and a wonderful “final” chapter to our time together on earth.
Ans as I write this, in an airport, about to head home to see my family and friends, I’m taking the time to look at other relationships that could be rocky, could have regret if it’s not fixed.
We all have an expiration date, but almost all of us don’t know when that is.
So the best time to remove those potential regrets is right now.
If you’ve got someone you’re thinking of, TELL THEM.
If you have something that needs to be said, SAY IT, no matter how “awkward’ it might seem. None of that stuff matters when you realize you’re going to die, and they are too.