Today is Anzac Day and as usual I headed down to the Trinity Beach esplanade for the dawn service to pay my respects.

Each year I am always amazed at the number of people who attend this service. I have been living in this area for a number of years now and many of these people I may not see all year, but they are there for each dawn service, which is wonderful.

After watching the deep orange sky grow paler as the sun rose up over the horizon throwing beams of light across the water, I headed off on my morning walk.

I started to reflect on why it’s important to be at the service and what it is really about. During the service it was shared that it’s about remembrance, respect and support for those who served so that we may live a life of freedom and for those affected by the loss.

And that really got me thinking and pondering on how often I hear people say their life changed when they lost a loved one.

It’s often the point where we make life changing decisions and when a loved one passes we are often left with regrets for what we didn’t say or what we didn’t do.

I sometimes work with clients to help them resolve regrets that have about loved ones who have passed over. They have been left with regrets of things they never said or did and because of that they are holding themselves back in important aspects of their life.

My own mum passed many years ago, so I was in my twenties and pregnant with my youngest child when I lost her. For many years I felt regret of not being the daughter I wished I had been, not being there and certainly not saying what I wanted to say or showing my appreciation or love often enough.

Because of this I am very committed to making sure the people I love feel appreciated and loved. I don’t like disagreements with loved ones because I know how short life can be and this means I do my best to resolve conflict as quickly as possible and always make the most of time spent with the people I love.

It’s so easy to get caught up in day to day activities and take our loved ones for granted, because we know they will always love us. Before we know it much time has passed and we still haven’t caught up with that person we love.

Make time to connect regularly
In the age of technology there really is no reason for being too busy and losing touch. Its wonderful to connect face to face of course, but often this isn’t realistic, so a phone call, a quick message or even a chat on Skype to let them know you are thinking about them, shows them they are important to you.

Let them know you love them and why
When my beautiful mum passed I regretted not doing this often enough and now because of this, I tell my loved ones I love them when I connect with them. A quick “I love you” works wonders to brighten their day and know they are needed. And when you tell them why you love them it has so much more meaning.

Be present and show them you appreciate them
This is something I still feel challenged with at times, because I have a very active mind. Its something I am very conscious of and work on. When you are really present with a loved one, they feel completely listened to, loved and very much appreciated because you are totally there with them in the moment. If you do have an active mind, then really work on being present.

Resolve disagreements quickly
I hear so many stories of families having disagreements and not resolving them, sometimes not resolved even before death and this is really sad. It’s easy to blame the other person for the disagreement instead of looking deeply at yourself. Ask yourself how important the relationship is to you and is it more important than the need to be right.

Be grateful for having them in your life
It seems to be a natural human tendency to look at the negatives and this includes looking for faults and flaws in loved ones. Build conscious awareness around this pattern and notice the positives in your loved ones. Make sure you let them know the positives you see in them and tell them how grateful you are they are in your life.

Its so important to stay consciously aware of this, so we make the most of every minute and let our loved ones know they are valued while we can, because life can change in an instant and we never know when that change will come.