Since my parents died, I have often said to myself “oh, if only…” If only I had spent more time with them, if only I was there to be with Mom when she took her last breath, if only we moved Dad in with us sooner, if only I said “I love you” enough, and so on.
I think we beat ourselves up more than we need to about those things we wish we had done or said. I also think that those we lost understood us better than we knew, that they felt our love for them more deeply than we ourselves knew.
So how do we combat the “if only” thoughts? My own mantra for that is this: “I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.”
We tend to be so hard on ourselves. If our loved ones were to show up on our doorstep today, I am sure that the first thing they would say to us is this: “you did just fine. Please don’t waste your time worrying. At the moment I began to rise, I felt your love completely. Your love was and is with me always. Where I am now is where the source of love is and abides.”
Speaking as one who has spent way too many precious minutes worrying and wondering, we do not need to carry a load of “if onlys” around with us. Please know that, whatever you did or did not do, it was enough.