Have you ever thought about the things you wished you knew about someone?
Have you ever had regrets about things left unsaid?
I have shared some truly interesting conversations with friends and clients recently about the conversations they had time to share with their loved ones before they departed this earth, the questions they remembered to ask, and the things they wished they had time to discover or say.
Having undertaken a bit of ancestry detective work for past family lines where broken relationships meant that personal stories were no longer shared, I have seen how historical lives can be “reduced” to the bare bones of birth, baptism, census, marriage and death records – unless of course the character was famous or infamous enough to have caught the attention of the newspapers of the time – or if another friend or relative thought to list their presence at a gathering in the social pages…the Facebook of the time!
It is usually only when some brave or bold family member probed further and then recorded the more interesting details of these lives, that the “skeleton” facts are fleshed out to give a better picture of the person behind these publicly recorded events.
It can be as simple as discovering a favourite colour, preferred ice cream flavour or most enjoyed book or movie. Or it might be sharing a long-held secret, a silent regret, or a story behind a favourite song.
As an estates lawyer, I am reminded of how short life can be on a regular basis. I see many families in various stages of their grief over the loss of their loved one. I have seen first hand how families who had the chance to have the conversations that matter, seem to travel through the dark valley of their grief more swiftly than those who never took the opportunity, or never had the chance.
I am honoured when my clients feel comfortable enough to share with me their memories and their regrets about things left unsaid or unasked.
Then this thought crossed my mind:
Imagine if these unsaid or unasked things could be compiled to help others start the conversations that matter, with their loved ones now, while they are still here. Imagine how this might help other families manage the grief that will sadly one day come, when their loved one passes on.
We have often heard the question posed “if you could invite anyone to dinner (dead or alive) who would that be, and why?” But my question to you, is this:
If you could ask any family member or friend (dead or alive) three questions, what would you ask and why?
If you are brave enough to share your answers publicly and allow me to compile them to help others, I would be so very grateful. If you prefer to share privately please get in touch by email or privately message me on Facebook.
I can’t wait to read your thoughts!