Goodbyes: Relationships Without Regrets


We’ve all lost someone close to us, and no matter how the loss came to pass, they always hurt. Imagine this though: Imagine that today was the last day you saw your spouse alive.

Would you have regrets?

Of course you would.

But would you have regrets about your last interaction with your love?

I am fortunate enough to be chauffeured to and from work almost every day. Yes, I get to carpool with my hubby. It’s a blessing for me for many reasons:

  1. I have terrible night vision, so driving in the dark of the early morning or evening makes it very stressful for me.
  2. After seven-plus years in Ontario, I still haven’t gotten used to all the highway driving. (Where I’m from, we only have one highway, and no one takes it because it’s always backed-up.) People are so aggressive during rush hour—whereas, when I am driving solo, I use it as a time to crank my tunes and let the negatives of life take a backseat to a thumping beat. (My daughter would cringe right now… that sounded so uncool.)
  3. I tend to get drowsy when I drive—no matter what time of day. I would have probably been one of “those” babies who fell asleep the second the key went into the ignition. We’ll never know though because we didn’t have child restraints when I was a baby. (I think I sense my daughter cringing again at the, “when I was growing up” comparison I just made. No… burgers were not 25¢ when I was a kid… but Double Bubble chewing gum was a penny!)
  4. I get lost—a lot—so if I have to deviate from my regular route, nothing good will come of it.
  5. It gives me time to address some of my social media responsibilities so that they don’t overflow into my personal life outside of my traditional job.

In the beginning of our relationship, my love and I held hands the entire way. Sometimes, he would even get a little frisky, put his hand on my knee, and caress my thigh (complete with a sexy growling noise). Unfortunately, I had to put an end to that, because the roughness of his hands from his profession would often snag my pantyhose. So romantic… I know.

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Now that the hand-holding has stopped because I’m “working” while we drive, there is one thing that never faltered—how we kissed before I got out of the car, and upon my return at the end of the day. I’m confident that very few women get the passionate send-off that I get every morning. To the point where I’d see the IT guy (who starts as early as me), run into the building so that he didn’t have to witness our make-out session.

Oh gross! No, we're not THAT bad!

Oh gross! No, we’re not THAT bad!

As the second half of a relationship, my communication skills can tend to go south when I’m not feeling valued. How does it manifest itself? When I’m upset, I will leave the car without kissing him. Yes, I can be that woman. Why I respond that way can be the topic for another blog, but the ramifications of my actions are why I mention it here today.

My husband and I have very few disagreements, but during one a few months ago (when I was feeling very wounded, and no longer participating in our vehicular lovefest), he called me on it.

“What happened to the ‘never leave without a proper good-bye because it could be your last time together’ philosophy that you preach?”

He had me. I was officially tagged a hypocrite.

In this relationship, I make sure that I don’t send terse texts, emails, or letters to my husband. If I’m upset, I will do it face-to-face. Why? Because I don’t want the universe to grab hold of my negativity, nor do I want to re-live it later on if one of us happens upon it.

I did write him one sensitive letter, but that was because I needed to make sure that my message was sane and not emotionally driven. That letter was later destroyed.

Two people in my life have passed with my last interactions being negative:

  • Shelly: A school mate. The summer leading to sixth grade, she came to my house to play and waited outside my house for an hour, only for me to come out and lie and say that I was grounded. On the first day of school that fall, my class was informed that Shelly, her father, and brother all died at the hands of a drunk driver. I ran home at lunch that day and cried my eyes out. The guilt of how I treated her overwhelmed me. To this day, I get emotional when I think about her.
  • Vincent: A cousin by marriage who had somewhat of a troubled past. Everyone thought he was on the straight and narrow, but a few short years ago, he was murdered. My last contact with him was when he embarrassed himself at my daughter’s Tae Kwon Do black belt graduation by “playing the man” to her Sensei. We didn’t speak to him again after that. I still find myself waiting for the call from his family to tell me that it was a mistake, and that he is alive and well.

So if those two passings affected me so deeply, I shudder to think how I would live the rest of my life if my husband died without our last contact being a loving kiss or an “I love you.”

Love those close to you in a way that, if you are taken from them unexpectedly, they will always know—without a doubt—how much you loved them.

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