Monday, January 7, 2013

On Death and Dying

I had an interesting question posed to me the other day and it got me thinking. If  you knew that today was your last day on Earth, would you do anything differently?  It's not as easy a question as it first sounds. My gut reaction was to say, "No.". But after thinking about it for a while, I wondered if there might be something I would do different. My answer turned to yes. I would make sure I told  everyone I know how I feel about them. I would tell them all of the things I love about them, you know, those little things we just adore about someone but never bother to say. Why is that anyway? It's like giving compliments has become a thing of the past. But I digress. I would try to do one thing, just one little thing to make a difference, no matter how small. Maybe I would do a little extra to help the environment or help a stranger with their groceries or write a letter to my Congressman(woman) to help make a change in my community. Things I WOULDN'T  do: I wouldn't stop trying. I wouldn't stop loving. I wouldn't stop taking chances and I absolutely would not put a pair of shoes on. 

I have to wonder though, why I would consider doing anything different at all. After all, we are all dying from the moment we are conceived and there are no guarantees that we might live beyond the very next breath we take. The person dying of cancer may die suddenly in a car crash. The healthy young boy down the hall may die tomorrow from a cerebral aneurysm. I could walk outside and have a meteorite drop on my head. OK.. that's a bit far out.. but who knows? Strange things happen all the time. My point is, that we all assume that we are going to live to be old and plan accordingly and when something happens that makes us think otherwise, we change how we view the world. A good friend of mine named Rachel was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago. She was devastated by the news and decided that she would never date again because she didn't want to deal with loving someone then leaving them. I told her that we are all dying every day and that none of us knows when our time is going to be up. It got her thinking. A few weeks later, she met Craig. It was love at first site and a year later, after much success with her cancer treatment, they got engaged. Through Rachel, I learned that every moment is a blessing and that we should never change how we view our lives because none of us can ever know when it will end. I think the phrase, "live like you are dying" is a good one because until we do, we aren't truly living.

1 comment:

  1. I always hated that question.
    I like to think I filled each moment with extraordinary things. Yet, I have lots of times where I just stood outside staring at the moon. And used the soap brush as a microphone when playing an awesome song while washing dishes. And woken up late, and felt no guilt for letting the morning slip away. I finally learned that even those trivial moments were precious to.
    So don't forget the small stuff.