My husband was in a total pickle this morning. The Australian dollar has taken a dive against the Euro. On Tuesday one Australian dollar was worth 72 Euros but this morning one Aussie dollar is only worth 65 cents. He meant to buy some Euros the other day for our overseas holiday but was too busy and now he is beating himself up with regret that he didn’t do it. Nothing I said seemed to make him feel better. He was in total angst.
Last week I went to visit my father in the Blue Mountains. He is very ill and frail and very unhappy. I contemplated his state of mind and wondered if some of it might have to do with regrets. After my mother died and he remarried we became a fractured family. I don’t think he meant it to be this way but it’s just how it ended up. He didn’t keep up the friendships or connections from his life with Mum and us either – but started a totally new life with his second wife. They have moved so much they don’t really have any friends close by. I think he’s lonely now. I suspect he has a lot of regrets. It breaks my heart to contemplate this.
When I get older (I know I’m old now but I guess I mean the usual average end-of-life type old) and reflect back on my life I don’t want to have a huge bundle of regrets. My vision for old age is one where hopefully there might be a certain satisfaction in looking back and thinking you’ve given it your best shot and learnt a bit of wisdom along the way. There will be joys and sorrows to contemplate and puzzle - and I know we can’t avoid having some regrets but I hope I won’t have too many. I also want to still be having robust relationships with my lovely family and the very many important friends I’ve made over the years.
My friend Peter said to me on the phone last night that watching his father die, taught him a thing or two about how to die. When my mother died I felt the same way – she kept on living right up until near the end and died with a lot of dignity. Peter’s father told him he was glad he had time to tie up loose ends and make amends for some of his wrongs he wanted righted. He was glad his exit wasn’t a heart attack or sudden dropping off the twig.
I’d like to imagine dying as being a time for some meaningful philosophical and spiritual contemplation and a time for some really satisfying conversations. A time for tears but for laughter too. I hope I’m not being too naive.
- And sorry this isn't my usual light and fluffy stuff... (and the photo is of a beautiful house in the Blue Mountains)