Over time, the need to avoid such a scenario has grown in me. Without being morbid, we never know when we will see someone again, and it’s important to have a no-regrets approach to expressing love or friendship, even implicitly.
Recently I called an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in years, and was touched by his expression of love at the end of the call. He is of an age when life can quietly and naturally slip away in the night, and it means, if he doesn’t wake up tomorrow, we will have had that moment and that exchange. That won’t save me from grief and loss, but it will spare me regret.
So I was struck by this comment in a letter from Vita Sackville-West to her husband, particularly as my impression of her is of a quite buttoned up English aristocrat, not given to expressions of love.
I have never told you how much I love you and if you died I should reproach myself, saying Why did I never tell him? Why did I never tell him enough?
Source: Vita Sackville-West to Harald Nicolson, October 1959, quoted in Adam Nicolson, Sissinghurst: An unfinished history (London: Harper Press, 2009), p. 283
Photo credit: todabasura at pixabay