If we live long enough we will all encounter the death of someone we love. In the spring to summer of 2012 I lost a very good friend, Dave 36 from a brain aneurysm, then my longtime companion Maggie, a 12 year old Yellow Lab, then my older brother, John 44, from an accidental overdose. On Mother’s Day 2013, I lost one of my ferrets, Seraphina, who died in a tragic accident. All but my dog Maggie were total surprises, I had 2 days with her knowing the end was near. I loved all of them in different ways, at least that was my experience, yet at the same time love is love. When I think about each of them, I feel a sense of gratitude, loss and love, all at the same time.

I learned such valuable lessons from each of them, especially the importance of being complete. Say what there is to say and be loving every chance you get because you never know what moment may be the last you have together. I believe death is not the end, it more like a continuing in a different form. If someone you love dies without you being complete, it’s not too late. I know many people who’ve experienced incredible completion experiences by having a conversation with another pretending to be their deceased loved one, or simply writing a letter then reading it aloud.

Even though it’s never too late for completion, the biggest regret, or in-completion, is love that wasn’t offered or accepted. Why postpone love? It’s really all we ever want anyway. What if you accept that the only judgment worth making is that people are always calling for love or extending love? Most of the time people come from fear which means they are calling for love and we either answer that call or we don’t. When we don’t answer, usually wanting to be right about something, judgment is in the background. Not answering love’s call means we just hit another limit to our love. At every moment, we show one another our limits to love by reacting or we extend love and expand it. Imagine if we could all approach life with this simple view. Wouldn’t that change everything?

One of the most difficult parts about dealing with death are the regrets and guilt we may feel. Learning to love more and judge less creates a space for being complete. When you’re complete with someone, you don’t have to carry the heavy burden of regrets and guilt. I updated this article on 03/27/2014. My Grandmother died earlier today and I did shed some tears. Not because of regrets or guilt, I just know I’m going to miss her. I already do. I’m free to honor my memory of her and simply be thankful for how she touched my life because we were complete with each other.