This I Believe by Alison Brown

I believe in living without regrets. I believe it’s best to move on and forget about the “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s”. I believe that everything happens for a reason, whether it is immediately obvious or hidden and vague.

Last year, my family got word that my grandfather had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. When I was told, I shrugged it off thinking nothing of it. Granddad would pull through, he’s never been sick in his life.
My mom would be on the phone with him and mouth to me that I should talk to him. I was always too scared to talk to him about how he was doing and how doctor visits were going because I knew he would tell me exactly what I didn’t want to hear.

A few months later we visited my grandfather and I saw him for the first time in 3 years. He lay frail in a hospital bed, not even close to depicting the strong man I once knew. As I put on the required gloves and gown I walked towards him and fell speechless. We barely got a word from him and he would not eat or open his eyes. When I did spend time with him alone, he did say things that he always used to say to me, like “sweetheart” and “pretty girl.”

He passed away a week later from his cancer, and my family struggled with the “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s”. We had not kept in touch with my grandfather when he moved away, and with his passing, there were regrets. Shoulda visited. Coulda called. And I woulda lost my mind if I kept thinking that way.

Through this experience I have learned how to twist my regrets and find something positive. I have a grandmother that I don’t reach out to. I have a friend that I could find a little more time for. Rather than sadness at not knowing my grandfather better, I have gratefulness that I learned a lesson early enough to improve some relationships that I don’t want to regret.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with your article completely. We don’t have alot of time on this earth to beggin with. Wasting it makes us regretful but then again aren’t we just wasting more time by worrying about the time we wasted in the first place?

  2. I love this article. The saying that everything happens for a reason is what I have always lived my life by and still do. Sometimes when certain incidents happen to us, good or bad, we dont know why, but all of life’s challenges are here to make us stronger. We may not appreciate negative situations that come our way such as with parents or relationships but overall they make us not only stronger, but the people we grow to become in the future.

  3. This piece really got to me. I love your style of writing, it kept me interested throughout the article. It was very honest, to yourself and to your readers, and that’s what I think makes a great writer. Awesome job 🙂

  4. I really enjoyed reading this. I admit i cried a little. I really feel that this was well written and thought out. you emphasized the situation and gave us good visuals but you didnt harp on it. you smoothly transitioned from thought to thought. WELL DONE.

  5. This is one of my favorite this i believes. I agree completely with the whole “we shouldn’t live life with regrets”. But at the same time, I don’t think they should be forgotten. Nobody is perfect, and therefore, you’re going to do things that you regret, but that makes you, you. But when it comes to the type of regret where it’s you blaming yourself for something that happened, I believe that you should forget about those.

  6. I applaud you. This article is fantstic. I like knowing that you see the cup as half full instead of half empty. Living with regrets will only bring you down. What happened is in the past now so you might as well learn from it or else youll be stuk in a rut.

  7. Living without regrets is almost impossible because sometimes we are faced with two poor choices and we just have to figure out which is the lesser of the two evils, kind of like being caught between a rock and a hard place. Some times we are faced with two great choices and then we always wonder what it would have been like had we chosen the alternative.

  8. You are a really good writer. You kept me interested and wanting to continue reading to see what else you had to say. I agree with you that you will go crazy if you live with regrets and I too try to be optimistic in tough situations.

  9. Wow. This is a very difficult concept. I completely agree with what you are saying, but at the same time it’s so hard to actually do it! Living in the past definately doesn’t help anything, especially since you can’t change it.

  10. I also had a grandparent pass from cancer and I regretted never spending time with her. Granted I couldn’t understand her since she spoke another language but that’s beside the point. My sister didn’t speak her language but she understood her and would spend time with her all the time. Life without regrets is a great concept to live by, but there will always be some events that ocurred that you will always regret.

  11. I completely and wholly agree with living without regrets. No matter what has happened in the past, you always live on, and what you do after that particular incident can either dictate how you live your life, or you can take charge. In this situation, it is a little different because you cannot make up for lost time with your grandfather, but at the same time you can not let it eat away at you, and it is good that you have taken this and learned from your mistakes.

  12. Alison is amazing. Thanks for the words of encouragement from your heart. So blessed that you are one of my best friends =)

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