September 20th, 2018


Emotional Intimacy Question: What You Haven't Said

Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. I'm starting with this list.

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

I don't tend to have that problem.  I'm too aware of the ephemeral nature of life.  One of my guidelines is, "Treat every goodbye as if it were the last.  One day, it will be."  So I tell people that I love them.  I tell them that they matter to me.  We talk about big issues.  I've had a friend die suddenly, which was jarring, but he knew that he was loved and valued.  

There are some topics I find difficult to discuss; I imagine everyone has those.  So there are things I might leave unsaid for a few days, or somewhat longer, while I'm trying to scrape up the energy and framing to go over them together.  I think the last one, which was pretty big, lasted maybe three weeks before we hashed it out.  There's always the chance that death will arrive randomly before a given detail has gotten worked out.  That would be bothersome.  But it wouldn't be life-wrecking for me, because the big things are covered.

In some ways, I'm very reserved.  But when it comes to the important stuff, I try very hard to make sure that gets said.  Sometimes this puts me at odds with people who really don't want to talk about the elephant in the room.  Sometimes I don't really want to talk about it either.  Not talking about it won't make it go away, though, so better to deal with it openly.