There is a way beyond the regret we experience for not having said or done things differently regarding someone special who’s passed away. But better than that, even, is to tend to those concerns in the here and now. Perennial annoyances should be nipped in the bud before it’s too late.
“I just wish I could have told him in the living years.”
~Mike and the Mechanics, The Living Years (1988)
Where God gives us our own way we come, later, to despise it. We held on to dark concerns, those different to our loved one, and they polarised our interaction. We held on and they held on and never the twain would meet.
But there’s more to life than even our most important concerns; living in harmony, even upon sharp disagreement, is one of the secrets of life. To subsist in harmonious tension with someone we’re inextricably linked with, by birth or by blood, is something we’re all capable of. There is no loss to our values, to what we hold dear, to love someone whom we disagree with. This is our character test.
Appreciating The History Of Our Moments
We’re apt not to think about this until it’s too late.
Our family history we take for granted, usually, until it’s too late. We may sense the significance in the history—in the ordinary moments spent together—and we may occasionally act in a way to honour this history, but we don’t grasp it in all its essence, generally, until it’s too late.
Surely this is a gentle reminder, from God, that our human wisdom is incomplete; that we’ve missed something all along. In some warped way it could be a privilege that all humanity would experience this loss, and the gap between them and their God, before eternity comes; when the resounding truth comes home and bears itself over our felt experience.
Each common moment cannot be appreciated to the level and depth of our potential; it’s beyond our human capacity to achieve that. And God’s grace is available so we might feel forgiven for not having said and done things we ought to have reasonably done, as we can see via hindsight. We didn’t appreciate our family history—those moments we could touch. We couldn’t fully appreciate them. But now, just now, whilst its part of our conscious experience, we can do something significant with those we’re still present with; just now.
Making the most of the living years, and saying and doing that which we can with our family members before it’s too late, is the essence of life. God gifts us no better than our opportunity to do now what can’t be done then.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: to Rowland Croucher.