On the way to dinner with a friend tonight, I spoke with my mom on the phone. As she usually does every now and then, she asked me how each of my close friends are doing. We got to one of my friends who has been unemployed for quite some time, and then she started telling me to comfort this friend. Her voice got quieter and trembling, and she said that she never really understood how bad Ed had it until he died. Ed struggled with depression for most of his life, and my parents wouldn’t really accept it. And for the first time, she expressed regret – not just as in the days after he passed as she did repeatedly last July, but in his life. “I regret not doing more for him,” she said. “I just didn’t understand then, but I understand now.” Yet now it’s too late because he’s gone forever. Why do we have to understand things once it’s too late?
It’s already hard as an adult to realize and accept that your parents are imperfect people just like you, trying to make the most of their life for themselves and their children. It’s even harder to listen to them actually admit it to you out loud. At that moment, I missed Ed even more.