I’ve heard almost everyone I know, who knew my niece Kami, say something along those lines since she passed. It’s probably one of the most common feelings of loved ones when anyone dies.
Because even if you basically treated a person well, we are human. Miscommunications happen, we get impatient with each other, snap when we should speak with love, get too busy with the urgent and neglect the important, fail to understand the burdens someone else is carrying, and criticize when we should just love. Even if you did pretty well, with loss, it may seem like you could have done better.
And if there was indeed any problem between you, mistreatment, unkindness, or negligence on your part, it will seem worse to you when the person is not here anymore. When you can’t give what was needed or fix what needed fixing. When all you can do is say “I’m sorry” and “I love you” to the air and hope she hears.
I treated Kami well. She knew I loved her. We had a good relationship. But still, if I could go back, I feel like I would do better.
I hope we will all hold on to this feeling, the lesson in it anyway, for the rest of our lives and create fewer regrets, instead of letting the passage of time numb us to it. Since that day, I have spoken harshly to someone I love, and regretted it and apologized much more quickly than I would have before.
I don’t like regrets. I have enough of them already to last me the rest of my life. I sure don’t need any more. If I have wronged you, I’m sorry. If you have wronged me, I forgive you.