I have heard many times in my life that guilt and regret are wasted emotions. So I guess my comment would be then why are they so common in many lives. As we age, we have had more experience, more exposure and more relationships so perhaps as seniors it would make sense that we have regrets.
I myself have witnessed family members dying but prior to that, suffering with an ailment that perhaps gave them the strength to talk about things they never would have talked about before. Maybe because they knew that they would die, they felt it was the only chance they had to express themselves. What do you think? Have you experienced that yourself?
Many people who work in long term care facilities, rehab hospitals and palliative care (or supportive care as we prefer to call it) hear people daily expressing regret. However, even with encouragement to have certain conversations with loved ones or simple prompting to express their love and pride, many seniors just can’t seem to get the words out.
So this ingenious idea of having patients write letters to loved ones is priceless. We can all write our thoughts and feelings down even if we can’t actually say them. This idea has provided much needed relief to countless patients. And when they pass, it will provide the same feeling to the loved ones that they wrote letters to. Unless they decide to share before they go. Regardless, the same effect will take place. Peace and no regrets.
But we don’t have to wait until we are in palliative care to write such letters. They can and should be written as soon as possible and perhaps stored in a box or drawer or even with the lawyer who has your will. You decide when they can be read or not. The benefit to senior health with this idea is endless for both senior and families. Don’t leave with misunderstandings. And don’t leave this earth with regret. Sit down and write it out.
See original article for more https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/07/well/family/writing-a-last-letter-before-you-get-sick.html?_r=0