In the last few months I have had both acquaintances and a family member pass away. My Grandmother passing away at 92 was not a great surprise. She had lived a long life and had been ill recently and her death ended her suffering. The two acquaintances that passed away were completely unexpected; one passing away while on a business trip from a heart attack, the other; a brain aneurism. I find it intriguing to see how we all deal with death. When someone close to us dies unexpectedly, we get an epiphany – life is short and we shouldn’t take it for granted. For many of us, this is a short-lived promise we make to ourselves and those around us. We swear that we are going to say “I love you more”, live out our dreams and not sweat the small stuff until “life” happens. All of our dreams of living our lives to the fullest are go right out the window as we think about the bills that have to be paid, laundry that needs to be done, etc., etc.
Why do we need some else’s death to remind us that our time on this earth is limited? None of us has any guarantees on how long we will be here, so why do we need someone else’s passing as a prod to live the life we want? I know that in the past I have fallen into the trap of not really living life, but having life just happen to me. I had stopped setting goals for myself, so caught up in the past and feeling sorry for myself that it was an accomplishment just to make it through another day. When I look back on this time in my life now I am amazed at how much time I have wasted, but a part of me knows better than to think of it as wasted time – it was an experience I had to go through to get me to where I am today. If life is a journey, we should enjoy every aspect of it! We shouldn’t need a reminder of our mortality to make us want to appreciate life and the people that are a part of it. If there are goals and dreams that you would like to realize, why put it off? Many of us take for granted that “later” is ours for the taking, but reality tells a different story.
I have made a promise to myself to no longer take life for granted. I want to live every day to its fullest. If this was my last day on earth, I want there to be no regrets. I admit, there are days when this credo is harder to follow than others. I’m not a risk taker by nature, and that small voice of trepidation still calls to me at times, but I am continuing to learn to “let go and let God”. It has taken me over 30 years, but I now understand that life is a gift that we are given and living it to the fullest is the best way to show our appreciation for such an amazing gift and that is exactly what I plan to do!♥
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