I should have noticed.

I should have called.

I should have…

Regret is a bitch. 

And here’s the deal. We all do the best we can with the information we have at the time.

If I’d known then what I do now, I would have realized that him requesting the kitten for a night meant he wasn’t doing too hot. I would have texted on Monday like I’d thought about. Like I wanted. 

If she’d known what she knows now, his sister would have looked harder at the text on New Year’s Eve. She would have paid closer attention to him.

If any of us had known what we know now, there would have been many things we did differently.

But we didn’t know. He made sure of that. He made sure that none of us had enough information to connect the dots. 

They say what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Boy is that a load of horse shit. What he kept us from knowing has broken all our worlds. Hurt us immeasurably. 

Our regrets serve no purpose. We beat ourselves up for not being psychic. But we’re not. Never could be. Never will be. All we can do is our best with what we know. Be kind. Love. And don’t waste energy blaming ourselves for not acting upon what we didn’t know…. 

Don’t take the people you love for granted. Call if you want to. Tell them how you really feel. But we can’t live on high alert all the time. We can’t always be perfect. We can’t always be completely prepared for the unexpected and worst outcome. Living like that would make us crazy. Would take the joy out of life. 

I will never get over this. I will never not miss him. But I will try to live my life with no regrets. Try to make sure I’m following my heart, and not leaving things unsaid, undone. 

I will regret. It’s inevitable. But I can try to remember that I did the best I could with what I knew. We all did. Blame does no good. Not of ourselves, not of others. 

It doesn’t help the pain, but it could help focus my energy on doing something useful, rather than hating myself or anyone else. I can spend that energy doing something else. Something that might make the world better. Even if just for one person.

There’s a poem that is prevalent in the survivors of suicide community that I love, and think about often. It’s called Responsibility:

I have a responsibility to those I love…
to be loving, patient, considerate, and kind;
to be loyal, respectful, and honest;
to be appreciative, encouraging, and comforting
to share myself and care for myself
To be the best possible “Me”.
I am not responsible for them…
not for their achievements, successes, or triumphs;
not for their joy, gratification, or fulfillment;
not for their defeats, failures, or disappointments;
not for their thoughts, choices, or mistakes.
And not for their suicide.
For had I been responsible
this death would not have
~ Author Unknown

Written 3/2/2014

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