I love Edith Piaff’s song, “je ne regrette rien…” But, it’s just a bit of bravado, a stylized resistance to the facts. For to say that we have no regrets is not true to life as we experience it.
Yes, I will die with many personal regrets, no question. When we say that we have none, I don’t believe we’re truly examining our consciences or being honest with ourselves. Looking back over a lifetime, there is much to regret, some of it small, but some of it very serious. This is the human side of the story.
On the other hand, God’s love frees us of our regrets (and our guilt), and in that sense—a sense equally true but more powerful in its force—we can die without regrets. For in the end we hand everything over into the arms of the One who envelops us in a deep, healing and renewing love, a love that is offered as grace to the ones we leave behind. And they, too, one day, will experience this same love, a love that frees us. We are all awaiting that love, even now.