My cousin passed away a few days ago.
He was only 42 years old. It was a stomach cancer that killed him, and they said that because he was young it was spreading fast and there was nothing that could have been done by the time they diagnosed him. So the whole thing went very fast and he was gone.
The first thing that I came to my mind when I heard that he was gone was that I should have gone and see him when I was in Japan. I knew he was hospitalized then, but it didn't seem that he wanted to see anyone and I wasn't that close to him. So I didn't push it. Now I regret it.
Why regret if I wasn't that close to him? Perhaps because I know I live too far away from my family in Japan - unless my family alert me in advance, it's almost impossible for me to make it to anyone's funeral in Japan. So in my heart somewhere I must have known that it could be the last chance to see him when I was in Japan. But I didn't take that chance. And besides, even if I lived close enough to attend his funeral, what's the point getting over there when it's already too late?
Plus it makes me think about everyone else. I wish I could have been there for everyone else.
The second thing that came to my mind was my own health. Last year, I found out that I had a polyp big enough to be a cancer. It wasn't, but it was scary. What's the difference between my cousin and I? The only difference was that I was lucky.
We all say how we need to live the present moment, treasure our lives, and so on. It's something that we understand as a concept, but often don't really know it in heart. Or you feel that you know it, but it slips away next moment. It's something that you don't think all the time. And there's nothing requiring you to go that extra mile to have an OK life.
But what I learned is that I don't want to regret. That I should ask myself whether I would regret before I decide to do or not to do something.