22. A journey with no regrets

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Kunal shared his experience taking on the caregiver role as his wife dealt with breast cancer and how setting clear boundaries for everyone involved – including himself – ultimately helped him to walk away from the experience with no regrets.

I really admire the way Kunal was very clear-eyed about his priorities in a really complicated situation that often has no good answers. Take the way he managed communication with every person – from doctors to friends and family – he was unapologetic about how and how much he would engage. But those are the types of decisions you have to make when you are taking care of someone with serious health issues. You realize that many of the expectations that you once cared to fulfill no longer matter. And people have to be mature enough to know that it’s time to meet you where you are.

The other thing that Kunal said that really resonated with me was that money has no purpose once your loved one passes away. Before my dad passed away, I was super conservative about saving money for retirement, but after I watched my dad get diagnosed with cancer a year out from retirement and barely enjoyed the retirement life he was looking forward to, I realized that I being prudent about long term finances was important, but not at the expense of making great memories now with the people I love. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone should go out and rack up a bunch of credit card debts to go on luxury vacations, but it’s so important to remind ourselves often that life is tenuous so spending every moment honoring this life you have been given, is so important.

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