nO Regrets Living – Part 1 – A Tribute

Is it possible to live a life with no regrets? I’m not sure, but I am setting out to find out!

Oxford Dictionary defines Regret as, “Feeling sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that one has done or failed to do.”

Over the past 6-7 months I’ve had three experiences of which I’ve had no control that have brought me face to face with the issue of regret. The next three posts will cover each experience individually, and hopefully gently uncover some keys to living a life with no regrets.

“Grief and gratitude are kindred souls, each pointing to the beauty of what is transient and given to us by grace.

-Patricia Campbell Carson

On November 8th, 2017, one of my favorite people on the planet was killed in a tragic car accident. I have wanted to write about it for many months, but it has taken this long to be able to gather myself, my thoughts, and enough courage to actually do it.

Eric Lunde turned 47 years old in September of 2017, and 2 months later he was gone. This is so hard to write about. Partly because I want to do him justice, partly because it is so damn painful, and partly because I have no idea where this will take me. But isn’t it the truth that we really don’t know where anything will take us?

I keep thinking I’ve come to terms with it in my brain, and then a memory of him floats by, and my heart breaks all over again. Eric was a free spirit, a nO regrets adventurer, a lover of food, drink, and all things outdoors. I’d hiked with him in Sedona and Lake Tahoe, golfed with him in Minnesota, Arizona and California, traded stories of grand Hawaii adventures, and was there to support him when each of his immediate family members left the planet before him.

I thought I had more time with him. Isn’t that the catch – we always think we have more time. After having his dad, Dave, (my husband’s best friend) killed in a car accident in 1993, his sister, Lisa, dying of a freak brain bleed in 2006, and his mother (my dearest friend Sharon) dying of cancer in 2015, don’t you think Eric would get to die of old age on a beach in Hawaii 40 years from now? It just doesn’t seem right. Or fair. Or real.

I just wasn’t ready. It’s such a dumb thing to say, but I really wasn’t ready. I had plans for us. Deep talks, sharing nature hikes, golf and camping trips, fabulous dinners, and more sharing of wisdom and experiences. I regret not acting on every impulse I had to call him, invite him, and share with him. I feel so robbed. And I can’t quite shake how robbed their entire family was.

I remember sitting in intensive care with Sharon after Dave’s accident, when she looked at me and said, “I have no regrets.” I was floored. Really, No Regrets?? At that point in my life I had made some really bad decisions and couldn’t imagine having a marriage with no regrets. I never forgot her words, and have been slowly (I must be related to snails) gaining enough consciousness and courage to achieve what Sharon and Dave so beautifully created together.

Life is so precious, and so shockingly fleeting. I am forever changed by Eric’s life, and by his death. I plan to do Eric proud by choosing again and again to live with my heart wide open, no matter what life throws my way. Will this be “no regrets” living? I’m not sure, but I’m willing to try it and find out.

Eric and his family meant the world to me, and now that they’re all gone, I once again am left with so many unanswerable questions. I’ve returned again and again to my memories of them, and all the love we shared, in this lifetime, and in what feels like many other lifetimes, too. I keep remembering what my doctor said to me just weeks after the accident – “they are all once again together, galloping across the galaxies”. Whether or not it’s true, it sure helps me to picture it.

Since Eric’s death, I keep hearing: Don’t wait to wake up. Don’t wait to love. Don’t wait to swim in the ocean. Don’t wait to take that trip. Don’t wait to be with your favorite people. Don’t wait to celebrate. Don’t wait to live your life the way you want to. Don’t wait. I for one am heeding this advice, because this might just be the essence of nO regrets living.

This summer, my husband and I will carry the ashes of our most treasured Lunde family back to Minnesota with us. There we will give them a final resting place, so they can be “Together Forever”. The remains of their bodies will rest, while their amazing spirits will continue to spread their special brand of love and magic through the Universe.

Thank you for all the love, lessons, wisdom and adventures. Travel well dear ones. I will meet you among the stars.

Be Brave.

Be Kind.

Be True.

lOve, VickiO


  1. Karla Hill-Donisch

    With all the love in my heart I thank you for writing this. I too hope to live with no regrets, love and supportive people.

  2. Sheri Fleury

    I’m so happy you found the strength to put these words to paper as it is a lesson to us all everyday. Thank you Vicki.

  3. Susan Kipp

    Thank you, Vicki, for opening your heart so wide that it hurts. You’re so right: “Don’t Wait!” I think that waiting until it’s too late causes more regret than making mistakes. Sending you much love and peace. Susan Kipp

    • vickiO Art

      Oh, Susan, you are so right – waiting until it’s too late causes more regret than making mistakes. I’m going to remember that. Thank you so much❤️❤️

    • vickiO Art

      Thank you dear Annie❤️ I have said that many times over the years, knowing there really are no answers. We just get to keep loving no matter what. Love you💗💗

  4. lisagshore

    This was so hard to read and must have been so painful for you to write. Eric was the light in the room and his whole family were beautiful people in every sense. We can’t understand the “why” of the early death of loved ones and have to live with the “after”, trying to find solace in the memories, however heart wrenching. Thank you for this loving tribute to an incredible and incredibly loved family. Their parting gift to you is to make you live life wholly and without regrets and now you have shared that gift with us. Love you! xox

    • vickiO Art

      Dearest Lisa❤️ Thank you for your beautiful heartfelt words. The Lundes gave me so many gifts, it’s true, but their parting gift may be one of the most important. I didn’t really get that until right now. Thanks for putting it in words I could hear and understand❤️ Love you dearheart💗

  5. Peggy Bell

    Wow, I loved it and hear you loud and clear. I’m with you and believe in your words and ❤️. . Lots to think about that I want to apply to my life. I will be reading it again and again. It helps me grow. You express yourself so well….. What a great tribute to the amazing Lunde’s who touched my life in a way I can’t explain, But I am a better person knowing and loving them. My regret is, I lost them way to soon. Maybe I’m left on earth to carry on with what I learned from them. Thanks for bringing their remains back to MN. Sharon’s spirit will soar, you are finishing a Regret that she shared with me. She wanted to have her families remains together, even though at that time it didn’t include her and her dear son, Eric’s remains. She wanted them buried at The Woodbury Methodist Church. Live an authentic Life every day, is what I need to remember, no regrets, no redos. You bless my life. I love you Vicki, my forever friend!!!! 😍❤️😍 Peggy Sent from my iPad. Peggy


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