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Sharing some personal guilt.
If you're in a hole, the best thing to do is stop digging

I heard that quote spoken by Nick Stokes from CSI. I've found enough references to that on Google, in many varied forms, that I don't think it's particularly accurate to attribute the quote to the show, but... it's where I heard it first :)

This weekend I've been spending doing many and varied household tasks, especially ones that have been sitting there becoming more and more urgent as time goes on, such as sorting out the household accounting, fixing the stereo system cabling, putting up some more rain-spout piping so our bicycles don't get drenched each time it rains, that kind of thing.

In fact, I've crossed out about half of the items on my white-board's 'to do' list. There's plenty more to go up, but... all those crosses look impressive.

What's surprising to me is that this isn't a regular event for me... for the past several months I've been getting home after work and just about doing nothing. This wouldn't be a problem if there weren't things to do, and important things, both for quality of life, and things that my housemates rely on me for. Thankfully, they've not been life threatening or anything like that, but it has been awkward for them.

In other words, I've been in a funk, and not really had the impetus to get out of it.

Something I learned in one of the self-improvement courses I took some time ago is that the only person that can convince you to do these long-standing tasks is yourself, and you'll certainly do them when you're disgusted enough with yourself. And, that certainly happened to me. I did something, or, more accurately, I didn't do something when I should have, and its something that can't be corrected with doing it straight away, accompanied with an apology.

Last week, a friend of mine, one that I've not spoken to in a while but a friend nevertheless, died in hospital. Not from anything traumatic, but just the usual things that come from old age... perhaps a little earlier than average. It's sad, yes. She was a good friend, especially when we were talking more, and I, and many others, will miss her.

Because we hadn't been keeping in touch, much, I only found out about her hospitalisation indirectly. Her daughter had been posting information on her condition in her livejournal (I won't pass on references... if you know who I'm referring to, then you know... otherwise, I don't really want folk poking around there that don't need to be).

I responded to a message to pass on, via email, messages or well-wishes or thankyous, but... I didn't keep check on the livejournal to know that the daughter was suggesting that folk call the hospital to talk to my friend while she was still able receive calls. After all, I was in a funk and not really doing much at all. So... I missed this opportunity to say goodbye, or at very least give her a familiar voice to talk to in her last hours. So... that chance is gone, and it'll never return.

And, THAT is what kicked me out of my funk. I looked at myself in a kind-of disembodied way and said "just LOOK at you, all you had to do was pick up the phone and call, and talk... how hard was that? Even without the offer in the livejournal, you should have thought to see what you could do. Are you just going to sit there all day and continue to do nothing, watch life and friends pass you buy, or are you going to get out there and do the things that you should be doing?"

In short, I was disgusted with myself, and I finally decided that I should do something about it. I can't bring my friend back to life for a final goodbye, or to ask for forgiveness for being so slack at a critical time, and that's something I have to live with for the rest of my life. But... I can do many other things that I should be doing... and I've done some of those things this weekend. She's done some wonderful things for me in the past, and it's somewhat ironic that she's helped me again this one final time.

I can only hope that in her final hours, she wasn't wondering where my call was, or upset that I didn't call... or knew firmly in her heart that I loved her, and will always, as a friend. I'm afraid that that's something I'll always be wondering about, and that I'll never know.

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i'm sorry for your loss *hugs* but i'm happy you can find some impetus for living a healthier life from it. it's true that you really have to try to express how you feel to those around you because you never know what'll happen.

My condolences.

I felt much the same when my friend Linda died, I shoulda just picked up the phone and called.

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