Friday, February 13, 2015

What You Should Have Done

"I’m not religious, but at the end of my life I wouldn’t mind hearing a deep, resounding voice telling me what it was I should have done. I wonder what he’d say."
 - Nobody here  (A lovely, visit-worthy site)

If I could ask each of my dead parents and my dead husband one question is would be:
Mom, did you believe in God?
Dad, were you satisfied?
Husband, were you ever happy?

No questions about regrets. No why or what-ifs. Just yes/no questions. 

But, what an amazing question is: what should I have done? Assuming that by the time I die I won’t be so far gone into dementia that I don’t notice I’ve woken up dead, what will that voice tell me?

Would the voice behind the wagging finger say I should have tried harder? Been better, done more, made a bigger difference. What if the answer is mundane?

You should have kept trying to perfects that violet cookie recipe until your cookies tasted like the Fortnum & Mason violet cookies. You should have got a tattoo referencing some lame TV show character’s memorable one-liner. You should have learned Latin, told more jokes, read better books.

What if the answer was tragically consequential?

You should have followed up that idea about creating a time machine using dremel tools and cookie tins. You could have saved the world from the genocidal megalomaniac Genghis Hitler and his evil minions in 3025. You should have picked up that hitchhiker, you should have taken up ice sculpture. You should have looked in the rear-view mirror just a minute ago.

My best guess is that the deep resounding voice will be saying I told you so.

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