There are times when it becomes necessary to look back and think about things that have been done or left undone. In fact it's hard not to do a little reflecting when faced with the death of a relative. Once somebody's gone the only really important things left are memories.
Robert Burns, the Scottish poet, once wrote a poem that touched on the subject of hopes and memories
, part of which reads:But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain
For promis'd joy.
Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But, och! I backward cast my e'e
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
Loosely translated and summarized (as though I really understood Scottish) "Foresight and hope lead us to despair. It's better to live in the present and not know of the past or think of the future."
I thought about this for quite some time and eventually decided that I don't really agree with that philosophy. If I only lived in the present I'd really have nothing to live for. Looking back on my life makes it seem nicer because bad memories are just memories and good memories seem even more pleasurable. Moreover, the future has yet to be written, and nobody really knows what is possible.
If you take anything away from this little rambling let it be this: Appreciate what you've had, enjoy what you have, and look forward to what is yet to come.