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Regret When a Friend Dies

70. Regret When a Friend Dies

I’m in the middle right now of having had a friend die, and in the past few years it has happened again and again. It’s not guilt I feel. It’s regret—regret that once more I didn’t stay in touch better, that I didn’t call often enough. And it’s also that there were things I learned at the funeral or even in a death notice that I didn’t even know about that person. Does that ever happen to you—where you learn some new thing. And inevitably I think, I wish I had known that—we could have talked about it.

It’s hard to stay current with everyone. That’s the other reaction I have to death. I didn’t do a good enough (notice the “enough”) job of staying in touch with the person who died, and who is there now that I’m not staying in touch with. It’s kind of like asking who is my next regret?

What I’m trying to learn is that you do the best you can—that maybe sometimes it would be a better choice to call a friend that I haven’t talked to for a while than to play another computer game. My other learning is that when you find a friend that you enjoy being with, where you relish the conversation and the getting together, where afterwards you say to yourself —what a grand time— then that’s one event you can remember and feel no regret about.

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