Last night, I got a message from one of my cousins saying her father, my uncle, had just passed away earlier in the day. I had to call my father to tell him the bad news about his brother. It wasn’t a good conversation at all. See, my father & uncle were once very close. However, they hadn’t spoken in a long time, I think 2001 or 2002 was the last time they spoke, & prior to that, they hadn’t spoken many times since 1996 when they had a big disagreement. So, now my father has to cope not only with losing his brother, but also with regrets over how their relationship ended up.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since last night when we spoke. It seems to me this is a very common scenario- someone dies, & the ones left behind have regrets. Regretting letting some trivial argument come between them, maybe simply not calling/visiting as much as they wish they would have or failing to say, “I love you” more often. It’s a very sad situation. Also it’s a situation people don’t want to think about.
I know thinking about the possibility of losing someone you love isn’t pleasant. However, it is bound to happen at some point. Death is a natural part of life.
I would just like to take a moment today to encourage you to be sure you don’t have regrets in relationships. Tell those you love how much they mean to you. End your phone calls, emails or visits by telling them, “I love you.” (I always did this with my granddad, & it brings me some comfort that our last words to each other were, “I love you.”) If they do something for you or say something kind to you, tell them how much you appreciate it. Call them often. Go out for a cup of coffee or to lunch often. Give them little gifts that show them how much you love them when it isn’t their birthday or another gift-giving occasion without expecting anything in return. An unexpected gift with no strings attached at an unexpected time is a wonderful thing! Use complements & praise often. Pray with & for those you love. Encourage them when they are down. Listen quietly without offering advice.
Since I know many of you reading my blog also have a narcissistic mother, some also have narcissistic fathers, you may be wondering how this applies to you. More or less the same. If your narcissistic mother does something kind (I know, rare, but it does happen once in a while!), thank her for thinking of you & doing whatever it was she did. If you can give her a genuine complement, give it. If you see a little something she would like, buy it for her without expecting anything in return. Pray for her. Basically, bless her as you feel you are able to for your narcissistic mother. I’m certainly not saying to tolerate abuse from her, or kiss up to her by any means. I am saying to respect whatever boundaries you have with her, while blessing her as you are able to do so. It isn’t easy, I know, but if you treat her as well as you are able, & as she deserves, you won’t have regrets about your part of your relationship.
Also, when you do something for your narcissistic mother, do only what you feel you genuinely don’t mind doing. If it appears at all forced on your end, she’ll pick up on that, & you could be facing a narcissistic rage.
I have practiced what I am writing about today with my mother. I honestly can say now that I have no regrets with her. I have done my best by my mother (in spite of what some people may think, ie her flying monkeys) while protecting myself at the same time.