Saturday, August 06, 2016

Live with no regrets

My father-in-law passed away peacefully on Thursday. He felt no pain at any point (and he wasn't given any pain medication until the very end) and in the moments in which he was awake from the coma he had many meaningful interactions with his four sons and his wife. They all got to say goodbye and come to terms with him going peacefully, the way he wanted.

During the flight back from Brazil to the  U.S. On Thursday night, I wrote a lengthy post to share on Facebook, which read like a letter to my beloved father-in-law. After I finished writing the post, which ended with me saying I had no regrets at all, I wrote this, which I meant to be shared here:

For me, living intensely is the only way to live without any regrets. There is no need for regrets because you don't ever leave anything behind, as much as possible. You savor each moment, you love deeply, you interact with your loved ones everyday as if that were your last day on earth. You leave nothing unsaid, you open your heart. You even argue if needed, but you patch things up right away and tell people you love them. You kiss, and hug, and caress like there is no tomorrow (I'm like that with my sons and husband, my father in law was just like that too, as is my mom).

You get over the little things that irritate you that don't matter, leave those behind, you put people and family first. You have your friends over and cook their favorite foods for them as often as you can. Work, and a clean and organized house are not that important, making that photo book and giving it to loved ones for a special occasion is (my hubby will hate that one!) As is buying that perfect gift for a friend, taking the time to plan your trip around seeing as many friends as you can then talking all night with them and going out of your way to see them is the way I like to do it. After all, it's only once every few years! (In our case, when we go to Brazil).

Spend money on trips together, even if it's a lot -- travel and time with family is worth more than things. Go to meaningful places, make memories, take endless photos and then look at them later to savor the moments (my husband is against the photo part sometimes, but maybe he has changed his mind now). Eat at places you love and that will make you happy, enjoy treats like ice-cream, gelatto, or popsicles with the kids while on trips or at the mall (just did that with my 14 year old son a few days ago).

Spend time helping people, making things for them for special occasions, even if it involves hours and hours of your time. (I know not many people can do that, but I thrive on it). Put other people's needs ahead of your own, stay behind to help whenever you can. Be last in line at potluck so everyone else can eat and help clean afterwards.

Stop to listen to people, many of them are craving attention and need someone to lend a willing and sympathetic ear. That takes time too, but it's an incredible gift for them.

That is how I live my life. I love every minute of it and I have no regrets whatsoever.  It's intense, it's exhausting, it's demanding, but worth it. 

1 comment:

What Now? said...

L, I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law's death, but it sounds like he died the perfect death -- painless, and with loving time with his family. I hope that's proving to be a comfort to your husband and the rest of your family.