Things better left unsaid

I had major surgery on Valentine’s Day 2006, and I have seen enough films to “know”  that sometimes when somebody dies, not only are those alive left with the sadness and the loss but all those thoughts of “I wish I had said” …fill in the blank…So the week before my surgery, with the lingering thought that I may die from an anesthesia reaction or whatever else could happen, I wrote letters.  Many letters.  To my daughter, to my parents, to the man I was dating, to my sister, to my Mimom, to the little Sweet-Ti infant grandbaby I’d only just begun to know…I “said” all the things I wanted to say.  I put them all in envelopes and left them that morning on my desk addressed with to whom they were for…just in case.  While it may have been a morbid act, it felt good to do it, while I was writing and also that day as I was being prepped and poked and as I started to count backwards from 10, and to be honest, I only remember saying “10” I felt so peaceful, that if that was to be my last day alive on this earth, there was nothing left unsaid.

I have been filled with mild, and sometimes deep regret since early February for things I have said, and have written, creating drama and upset to someone who deserves neither.  Words when spoken can’t be taken back, and I have said many things  since this winter that were better left unsaid…I’ve been unrealistic about expectations, I’ve been selfish with all the -what I want and what I deserve- types of comments, I’ve been upset over a situation that has nothing to do with me nor does it or should it, affect me directly…and I have tried to “do better” and I have tried to “be better” and I have really tried to force out the thoughts when they enter my brain, it has been a struggle for me, and I am upset with myself and despite my efforts, I keep on behaving badly in this area.  How many times can you say you are sorry before the person no longer believes you mean it?  How many times can you say you will try to do something and then you don’t ever really do it?  It’s a little like The Boy Who Cried Wolf isn’t it??

Last evening I got word from a girlfriend that a mutual friend of ours from high school had died.  I just had drinks with him and some friends earlier this summer and while we had not been “friends” since high school, we had been very good cyber friends these last several years.  I felt sad, that someone as young as we was dead, and that he had so much left to do and to say, and surely so many who cared about him had things to say to him.  I’ve written for years about my Dad, truly the greatest human I will ever know, who often says, “tomorrow you could be run over by a pie wagon” and he lives his life so fully and so completely and with such kindness and goodness that when the pie wagon does come, there will be no regrets in his last breath.  This death of a friend from my teens got me thinking for the last many hours about the life I am living…

I like the Buddhist idea that we get to keep coming back to a physical life, time after time, until we get it right…I also like the Christian idea that we die this physical life but we get to live forever in heaven.  I don’t know that I believe in anything, and I have friends of many faiths and friends of no faith.  I like the idea of a “religion” of kindness.  I’ve joked over the years, yet it is SO true for me, that I love Eddie Vedder’s quote, “there’s only one commandment, don’t be an asshole,”  yet, even though I try to go to bed at night and say my apology to the universe, if I have been an asshole to anybody that day, I find that I’ve been perpetually difficult to the man I most want to be kind to, the man I want to keep sharing my life with, the one who I don’t want to think ill of me…

So I’m thinking about my recently dead friend, and wondering what he might have wished to be different, done differently, what he maybe wishes he had said and what he perhaps wished he had not…I have not been living to my full potential these many months.  I know this much is true.  I have been needlessly unkind and occasionally difficult and said “I’m sorry” too often.  If this is the only life I get I think I had better start behaving better and know as well as understand, that there are many things better left unsaid…I want my last words that I say or that I write to be based in kindness, understanding, compassion, generosity, grace I suppose…I believe perhaps today more than yesterday, that the ONLY things I SHOULD say are the words I would want somebody to remember me by…

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One thought on “Things better left unsaid

  1. Denise says:

    I feel grateful for your post. I question my self daily if I am walking in my life correctly. I don’t know you very well… but I love your words of wisdom!

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