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Life after DEATH

What if time were not on your side? What if you were running out of months, weeks days?  What if your number was up, and you were not long for the planet?  Would you reflect and regret, wish for something different; to have seen more, done more, been more? Would you have wanted to live a different truth?

Many are currently quietly fighting battles for which there is no victory, other than peace.  Many are living lives that are not full but diminished by illness or by suffering.  Some have been told of their fate, some are waiting on the news, still others have no idea what is coming.  Some have embraced it as a gift, learning and living more in their last days than all the days before, some are resigned, some have accepted, many are walking a path of grace.

For anyone who has this day and perhaps more in store, we may want to take a look at the life we are living, and use this precious time, to do what we need to do – live the life we were are meant to live.

Years ago, I participated in an exercise that changed things for me. I was in my early twenties, lots of time, plenty of promise.  I was asked to write my obituary, not an easy task; to imagine that day, that final day, and what my life might represent as I faced my end.  The idea was to imagine the life you want to live, and to write down how you might like to be remembered, what legacy you would leave, what contribution to the world you would make along the journey.  Then, once you had written it, and were happy with this life you led, the idea was to go out and live it; by looking forward and reaching back, you could pave the way.

At some point, it will be too late to go back, to do or undo.  Time and space, and age and health will determine what we are able, no matter what we dream.  Perhaps today, if you are in good health and have a vibrant spirit, you can live the life you imagine, long before the story is written about you, you can actually WRITE your own story, starting now.

And while the journey is often filled with challenge, for the most part, we stand in our own way.  We doubt that we are able, believe we not worthy, talk ourselves out of what is possible, and into what is probable.  We pile our reasons high enough to cast a shadow on our dreams, and we walk a path that is most traveled, fearing what we don’t know, can’t imagine, are not sure of.  We leave it all for later, believe there will be another time, when we are more comfortable, better suited, have enough money, time, energy, inspiration; when it feels right.

Well, time is running out, whether you know it, believe it, or acknowledge it. Every day, the chance to live the life, YOUR life, the one you are meant to live, is slipping away.  It is not about how much you accomplish or earn, where you travel, what you own, the degrees or accolades you accumulate, how many know your face, listen to you talk, or show up at the end to wish you well.  It’s about living the life, you and only you were meant to live, the real and authentic one that was gifted to you at birth.  It is not about proving you lived a big life, a great life, a loud life; it’s about knowing you lived the right life, the right life for you.

For me, many years have passed and I have now lived on the planet longer than I will remain.  My obituary has changed with me and with time and it now simply reads, “I walked this earth. I tread lightly. I loved deeply.”

Life After Death-5326

Photography credit: Andrew Chambers Photography (andrew.chambers@live.ca)

2 Comments

  1. Jason
    Posted February 28, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Seven years ago I was told by the Medical Community that I may have a nasty form of cancer called Multiple Myeloma (MM). Further tests were required, but they were ‘concerned.’ MM is a terminal, incurable disease. Twelve months of pain and degeneration, leading to death. I started to get my affairs in order.

    It would take three months to determine that I was asymptomatic. And even if I was, symptoms could appear for up to 10 years.

    Month 1; “Christ! Really? Why me?”
    Month 2; “Financial affairs are in order.”
    Month 3; The epiphany came while sitting on my backyard deck. I was watching the sun go down and drinking a Corona. “If I only have 12 months left, I want to spend them living. Actually living!”

    Perspectives, and priorities, changed quickly and dramatically during that period. The Rat-Race that I had been running quickly looked like a fool’s game. I realized then that I was doing things all wrong. How could I have been so stupid? What was I thinking?

    Canadian Blood Services (Red Cross), who found the protien (IgG Lambda) in my blood during a platelet donation analysis, had given me the best gift that anyone could have. They gave me the gift of perspective. The change in my perspective was so profound that my (now ex) wife became concerned as she thought that I was going through a “mid-life crisis.” As much as I tried to explain my point of view, she did not understand. But, how could she possibly understand. She had not gone through it.

    Now in my early fifties, with a clean bill of health, I understand that I am on the back-nine of this golf course. I’m ok with that. Every day, week, month and year since that news has been a gift. For me, life started seven years ago. I now live every day without regret. I still work a lot sometimes, but now it’s because I love my work. But, more importantly, I play now. I play at work, I play on weekends, I play in the sun and I play in the rain. Life is so short. Far too short.

    Linda, this is an exceptional article. I really hope you can get through to people. I fully understand your perspective. Unfortuately, like my ex-wife, so many are too busy chasing the illusive “carrot on the stick” to take a moment to absorb. Without that event in my life, I probably never would have truely absorbed the message either. If you can reach one person that will change their life then you are a Rock-Star. Ok, time for me to go out and play. :-) The sun is shining and the clock is ticking.

    • Posted February 28, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Jason for taking time to comment and for your very kind words. I so appreciate you sharing such a personal and powerful story and I hope that others who read it will see that time is passing, no matter how it is spent, and how valuable our time is;not a moment to waste. Wishing you continued good health and the best of times!

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