Life and Death and What’s In Between

Having someone close to you who is nearing death is an odd experience. I had lunch with this person today and I watched her closely, the things she looked at, her smile, the way she smelled and looked, how she spoke to me. I tried to put myself in her shoes, having lived a full and long life knowing the end is coming sooner rather than later. Does she feel satisfied in how she lived her life? Does she have regrets? Is she scared or ready? I don’t know the answers to those questions but I want to have firm answers for myself in my own life. I lost my dad at the ripe young age of 12 and it was so unexpected I had no time to prepare or reflect. Now that I’m adult and have the ability to look at the bigger picture of life I have been really trying to dive deeper into its meaning and purpose.

A few weeks ago the church I attend spoke about the top regrets people who are dying have. I thought I would touch on those today and maybe we all can reflect a bit and make some changes if necessary.

  1. I wish I would have had the courage to live more true to myself-This one really hit hard for me. How many times do we try to fit a certain “mold” in our lives? We try to be more girlie and refined for a boy we like, we try to be more outspoken and hard for a friend you want to impress. When do we have the courage to live who we truly are and let the bricks fall as they may? I am working on being faithful to my authentic self in all that I do, this is a work in progress.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard-Ouch right?! I can hear everyone now, “but we need to pay our bills”, “I’ll have time to travel and experience life later”, “I need to focus on my career while I’m young”. I’ve said a few of those statements myself, however, how much are those statements based on fear? I believe life should be a healthy balance of work and the things we really enjoy. We should work to live not live to work and that is something I’ve been better at since having Charlotte.
  3. I wish I would have stayed in touch with my friends-In the past week how much have you been in contact with your close friends? I would say I have been slacking in this department. The excuses that come to mind: I’m too busy at the moment to call them, I’ll text them later, they are probably busy, I’m not feeling very social-throw those excuses out the window! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reached out to a friend that was on my heart and they tell me how timely the phone call or text was. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to connect with a friend when they need you but don’t know how to reach out. The woman I spoke about above just spent the whole weekend with a friend of 50 years (FIFTY!) and they had so much fun together. They stayed up late talking, had indulgent meals, laughed, and supported each other-what a blessing! Let’s make time for the people who matter in our lives so we don’t have this regret as we get older.
  4. I wish I had let myself be happier-THIS my friend is so important. I have noticed more and more how unhappy people are becoming, why is this? I think one thing is people are afraid to step out on a limb and change, the familiar is so comfortable but could also be what’s making people unhappy. Happiness is truly a choice, our lives are filled with choices each day, choose what makes you happy! Reflect on #1, find who your true person is and make choices that would fulfill that life you want. We get ONE life, there are no do overs, lets choose to be happy.

Life is beautiful, messy, joyful, terrifying, heartbreaking, and an adventurous journey we only get to take once. Let us pack our bags with the things that will equip us with the most fulfilling, satisfying journey with no regrets!