Monday, March 7, 2011

The Soul Scrub

by Kate Collins

Since my husband’s passing, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on life – his, mine, and just life in general. I’ve had a difficult time looking back, seeing photos of our lovely time together, but I know eventually I will be able to without pain, just with joy.

These reflections have taken me way back in some cases, back to my youth, and to some times that I wish I had a chance to do over. After some painful soul searching and a lot of praying, I feel now that I need to make amends for a few of those times. My husband’s sudden passing has taught me that life can end in the blink of an eye, leaving things unsaid and undone. There may be no tomorrow. So maybe taking a cue from the show “My Name Is Earl,” is a good thing.

I’m calling this a soul scrub. Get it scrubbed out now so I don’t carry it with me for the rest of my life -- and beyond.

Are there things you wish you could do over? People you wish you could apologize to but are too ashamed? Friends who you’ve hurt, causing a rift? Have you ever taken the brave course and apologized?


kissablysweet1 said...

I did a soul scrub years ago. Now I say what I have to and don't wait. I lost the love of my life in Feb of last year and his death brought me to my knees but I have no regrets. Every day several times a day we said the words I love you. We apologized and made amends right away when something went wrong. I can't live with all the stuff that might be left unsaid or undone. So I continue to share my thoughts and feelings with those I love.

Tiffany0227 said...

I have made many mistakes in my life, most of them I was young and made stupid decisions because I thought I knew best for myself. But, I have learned over the years since I met my husband almost 8 years ago when I was 21, I try not to think about the past as they have brought me to this time in my life. I would like to think that, God forbid, anything ever happen to my husband that I would not want to change a single thing. I could never imagine and my heart aches for you and I hope you heart mends.

There is one thing I want to do in my life before I leave this Earth and that is to have children. I am 29and I have fertility problems and my life feels so empty. I would make a great mother and I dream of the day I am.

Kate Collins said...

Kissablesweet, you're a wise woman. I'm so sorry that you lost your love. I share your pain. How fortunate that you have no regrets to weigh you down.
Tiffany, I had fertility problems a long time ago, too, but in good time I had 2 children. Email me off line at and I'll share a natural tip that may help you.

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Soul scrub is a great term. I've done it many times in my life. There are choices I'd like to have made differently, but they made me who I am today, and I do like myself (though there are days when I don't...a lot...another story, right? :) ). Kate, Tiffany, and Kissablesweet, I'm so sorry for your losses. I am blessed with my husband and don't know how I'd feel without him in my life. I do tell him every day how much I love him and that we are blessed. I try to tell our child and shared children the same things as often as we can. I did lose my father young, in a violent way. All I can say is that time softens the blow. It doesn't make things right, but time does help the healing process. My prayers are with you.


Chocoholic said...

I hope you are doing okay and feeling just a bit better each day. It was a shocking thing to read in the paper. I like the idea of a "soul scrub." I have thought about things I wish I did differently. Some I think about and figure they've made me who I am now and I'm happy with myself. Others, such as the times I've moved and lost touch with people, I regret. Though my best childhood friend and I reconnected through Facebook this week so changing things is definitely possible.

signlady217 said...

In some ways there are things I wish I could change, but many of them are what helped make me what I am today (as someone else pointed out), so that's not necessarily a bad thing. And some things may be better left alone, too! :)

All in all, though, I try to keep myself in line as I go, so there won't be regrets later. Getting better at it than when I was young. So far, so good!

Debra said...

Kate, you asked: "Are there things you wish you could do over?"
The hardest and most important thing I strive for, is to gracefully accept criticism. As a child, there was so much drama, we walked around on egg shells so as not to set off a days long emotion-filled explosion from one of my parents.
My friends and my hubby have helped me see that accepting loving criticism is a strong way to live, not a sign of weakness.

Kate Collins said...

Avery, thanks for your kind words.
Debra, I think our initial reaction to criticism is to be defensive and to see it as a personal attack. When it's offered in a loving way, it should be taken as CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Maybe that word "criticism" is what bothers me. There should be a better term.

Sarita said...

Kate, I've been reading your posts and finding so much comfort in them, thank you. My darling man passed away nine weeks ago. I have been grieving, trying to move forward but feeling like I've never felt before.

I am so sorry for your loss. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Publius said...

This post and the comments so far, they humble me. Last year, my love and I had a very close call.

I am so, so, so lucky that they got him to surgery in time and he made it. That moment, though, when I thought he would not, prompted a huge reevaluation of my life. And every now and then, when stupid little stuff starts to get to me, I think about that night. It puts everything in perspective.

All you who have lost and struggled and struggle still, I'm holding you in my heart.

Salar37_Shushan said...

While my husband fought to live, we had a lot of time to think about these issues. We took more time as the seasons of trail continued to tell each other how much we cared. We are still walking in the shadow of those days, so right now we're still 'scrubbed.'

Everyone messes up sometime. I seriously aim never to sin against others, but I still make mistakes, and made even more when I was younger. Sometimes you can apologize and sometimes you won't be speaking to them ever again. Lots of times it isn't clear who should be apologizing to whom, but its sad when friendships end - whatever the reason.

I am very sorry for your loss :(

Kate Collins said...

Sarita, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I truly understand the pain you are feeling. It's as if your heart has been ripped in half. The pain is real and sharp. It will lessen, I promise you, but I'm still working through the loneliness, the empty chair beside mine. Shushan, Wendy, you are so fortunate you were given an opportunity to appreciate what you have and celebrate your moments together.
Thank you all for your touching comments.

Hannah Dennison said...

Kate, thank you for your honest and very touching post. It was very humbling and has certainly made me think about all the things I deeply regret. One of the joys of getting older is having the courage to make amends. I'm slowly working through my list.
You are a remarkable woman - as are all the women who have shared their stories. I think we just "keep on swimming ..."

Tiffany0227 said...

Avery, thank you for your compassionate words.
Sarita, I am so sorry for your loss and I hope your heart heals soon.

Peewee54 said...

I love being reminded everyday of things to be grateful for. I only wish that I could start my life over from 18 knowing what I know now. I would have made better choices but I do not beat myself up over it. Life is good in that I learn everyday and for that I;m grateful. Take care and I hope you have more peaceful soul searching days and less painful ones. Thank you!