The Hardest Words

We face a lot of hard moments in life. As you have raised your family, dealt with business issues and tried to be an upstanding citizen in your path from youth to retirement, you have many moments you are proud of. But anyone who has successfully come to their senior years also has a few relationships and moments that they are not proud of as well.

One of the hardest to things to admit is that you ever were wrong. But the chances are that by this stage in your life, you can look back and think of times when you did treat people badly, where you were in the wrong and were not honest or ethical or moral in some aspect of life. But in the middle of a struggle, when we do behave in a shameful way, it’s easy to just get past it, bury it in your mind and let the passage of time wipe away that memory.

But your senior years are about more than just trips to casinos and sleeping until noon. It is also about reviewing the life you lived and cerebrating the joys and successes you have had. But to be honest with yourself, you cannot rejoice in the good without remembering those times when you were the one doing wrong and the people you hurt and the damage that was caused by your mistakes.

This is hard to think about but as a mature senior adult, now is the time to decide if you are going to make that situation right or not. Facing your senior years is about putting your affairs in order so you can live out the balance of your days with a peaceful mind and a happy heart. And you are not going to be able to go to your grave knowing you did all you can to be the quality person you set out to be until you do what you can to fix the things you broke as well.

In many cases, all that you have to do to resolve a mistake you made or to fix a broken relationship is to be prepared to say the two hardest words there are in the English language. And those words are – I’m sorry.

It would be a shame that would border on a Shakespearian tragedy if you look back at your life and identify those broken relationships that were caused by your pride, your impetuous activity or your greed. Some of those relationships may be very important to you and to leave them broken as you move into your retirement years is more than just a shame, it’s unimaginable. So how do you go about saying your sorry and saying “I’m sorry” to someone with whom relationship ended a long time ago?

Perhaps the easiest way to accomplish this very hard part of setting your affairs in order is to work through someone who can help make it happen. Suppose that in your young adult years, something happened in the family finances and you said something or did something to hurt your brother which caused that relationship to die. Now, decades from that event, that little financial squabble seems small and far away. But the hurt of that broken relationship is painful to you every time you think of it.

It was you that caused that relationship to fail. You know that when you look in the mirror but your pride keeps you from calling your brother and just saying “I’m sorry. Let’s be family again.” But that’s what you want.

So perhaps another family member can be of assistance. Another sibling may be able to mend this family rift and be happy to see that relationship restored. If you can call that sister who still loves you and still loves your brother, she may be able to help soften the hurt feelings and be the mediator between two hurt brothers who desperately to be reconciled.

You can bet that your sister would be thrilled to be the one to bring you two together. This is just one example of a way to reach out and say the hardest words ever to fix a mistake you made in life. It’s a way to reach out to that person you hurt and just say – I’m sorry.


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