This is to my family:
"When the time comes that I pass from this world into the next, please don't have regrets. Please don't feel guilt. Unless you purposely caused harm to me (in which case I will haunt the Hell out of you), there is no reason to feel these useless feelings. It's the old "coulda', shoulda', woulda'." You cannot change the past. You can only change what lies before you.
I understand that I am not your first thought, or priority. I understand you will have families of your own, in-laws, friends, a LIFE. I want all of those things for you. I want you living life to its fullest. Even if it means you didn't make it to dinner, or you spent the holidays somewhere else. It is after all what I want for you... a life that is happy, and full.
I have learned that there is no amount of time spent with a loved one that is "good enough" when they are gone. You will feel the guilt... you will think to yourself, "I could have done more." I don't expect more at the expense of your time with your own families. I don't expect more if it means you are missing out. My happiness will come from knowing you were out living your life. My peace will come from the knowledge that you are surrounded by people who love you as much as I do."
Yes, my family will see this. I need them to know this.
I hope to live many more years... watch my children grow into wonderful, productive, happy, adventurous adults. Hopefully I will get a grandchild or two out of it (NOT right now!) I want to go back to Big Sur and New York. I want to go to Washington State, Oregon, Chicago... oh so many places. I want to live my life without regret... the regret of NOT living it that is. That would be my own fault. I'd have no one to blame for that.