Just this week, the precarious balance between life and death has once again been impressed upon me, with the unexpected passing of a long time business associates wife.
Death is all around us, and is part of life, I know. So how do we live with that juxtaposition? How do we live openly in our relationships, whilst still making the most of every moment, not getting caught up in the small stuff and treasuring each day with a person.
That balance can be a hard one to maintain.
In the face of irritating quirks and habits that we all have, it’s hard to remember that those very things would be things we would miss, if that person were no longer around.
It’s hard to keep perspective on savouring each moment with our children when they are whinging, demanding and frustrating.
It’s hard to remember all the good character traits of our spouse when they disappoint us and let us down. It’s hard to remember their good points at two in the morning when you can’t sleep for their snoring! (Sorry darling. I know I keep you awake some nights!) When their socks litter the bathroom floor, they are grumpy with ‘man-flu’ and they forget to bring the washing in, even though you asked nicely – six times!, it’s hard to remember that they cooked tea the night before and gave you a back rub.
So how do we live with this constant see-saw of everyday life and the knowledge that it can all be snatched away in an instant?
The only answer I have come up with is to live in honesty.
It would be wrong to live in a constant state of denial about the things in people that irritate us. Just as it would be wrong to never acknowledge that each moment is precious and could be taken in a split second.
If we keep the communication lines open, remember to verbally appreciate those around us and all they do, we can live with no regrets.
And living with no regrets is what it is all about. It doesn’t mean we can’t air our true feelings about certain things, it doesn’t mean we have to ‘settle’ for things in a relationship that need changing.
Rather by living honestly, we can more freely share those things, safe in the knowledge that those issues don’t effect our relationship as a whole but enriches it. When we really accept our partner, children, friends, warts and all, we can have relationships that are honest and open, with not a regret in sight, no matter what circumstances may bring.