Last week, Mike, a business associate, lost a short and fierce battle to esophageal cancer. Last night, my dear friend Calvin's huge and loving heart let go.
Two friends gone and I have come to realize what I thought I already knew: leave nothing unsaid or undone each day. Being in now is the only answer to regrets for those words or actions that you're going to get around to soon, but too late realize they must now remain unspoken.
Mike and I belonged to a networking organization that I chose to leave because of an unfortunate situation. When Mike asked my assistant to have me drop by and see him at the store, I put it off. I didn't know he was fighting a losing battle and that he would be gone so quickly.
Calvin and I lived on the opposite sides of the country and I kept thinking I wanted him to know that I deeply appreciate his introducing me to my Buddhist practice and resulting deep faith. I know I said it before, but I didn't say it again as I was thinking it this morning -- just before I got the call.
I don't do guilt, but I do recognize that I don't want to miss these long-gone opportunities ever again. I know Mike felt my intense prayers during his hard battles with radiation and chemotherapies. And I know that Calvin is well-aware of how I feel toward him. I will miss him forever until we meet again.
But thoughts have to be turned into words to manifest the outcome you are seeking. I would have rather seen and heard their smile from my words rather than simply my thoughts.
Labels: Buddhism, death, regrets, unspoken words