My boyfriend lost his father at a young age, and when he maps out his childhood, the shock and confusion he experienced still shakes the room.
I think there’s a voice in all of us, it says ‘I wish I could go back and…’.
My voice says:
‘I wish I could go back and hold on to him for longer, tell him I love him one more time’
Yours might be something else, but usually it centres around a sinking feeling, regret.
Makes me feel like an anchor spiralling into the ocean.
So what next? It’s so easy to get caught up in a loop where you repeat it over and over in your head, imagining a different ending. Thing is, there’s no alternate ending and as hard as it is, we need to accept that and remember the person/animal for their whole life, not just their last moment.
Every time you find yourself falling victim to replaying those final moments, cast your mind back to before. Recall that person’s whole life and all the times you bought them joy, love and relief. Lose yourself in all the funny, beautiful memories you have of them. It’s so easy to look back now, when you are not in a highly stressful/anxious/traumatic environment and push blame on yourself, but don’t. You did the best you could in the moment, and the moment is not always as perfect as we picture, it’s raw and spontaneous.
You wouldn’t want to be remembered just for your final moments, so why allow them to? I’m not saying push it out of mind, we are only human, we all feel. It’s not about cutting off and forcing yourself to forget it all, but do be gentle with yourself. Remind yourself of the love, not just the regret.