Have you ever really thought about how you would spend the final days of your life, if you knew that’s what they were? Most of us have been asked the question, whether hypothetically or in a song: What if you had one year to live?
The first things that come to mind, for me, are dreams that have existed for most of my life that have not been fulfilled. I’d travel to England to see the places where my grandparents lived. I’d publish a book. I’d see the aurora borealis. Of course, these things require time and money. Ironically, when faced with a definitive, limited quantity of each, they would likely become more accessible.
So much for the obvious, external things I’d do. What of the important stuff? What about my inner life? How would that change in the final months? Think about your legacy and how you would be remembered. With each precious day, I would need to tell those close to me how much I love them. But more than that, I’d wish for them to know, specifically, why and how they had made me happy: Things they had taught me. How they had impacted and changed my life. I’d hate to leave without them knowing these things.
Next, I would seek out those who had harmed me or with whom relationships had ended somehow – Perhaps somebody who felt betrayed or disappointed by me. Then, I would do the same exact thing – Tell them how they had influenced me or made my path easier…. Recognize how grateful I was to have known them. The painful parts would be forgiven because it would no longer matter.
I would be free. All of the negative energy I harbor would be released – Some of which I didn’t even realize I carried. Without the bold assumption that we have time, things become crystal clear. Fear ceases to rule the way we live our daily lives. Things we push to the back of our consciousness are no longer content to simmer there: They must be addressed.
I think that I would even make peace with my regrets. Knowing that life was finite, accepting that some things just simply cannot be changed would be the only option. Forgiving others would be the easy part, compared to forgiving myself. But I think I could do it.
And my worldly possessions? All this “stuff” with which I have been struggling? Ha! Imagine the joy it would bring to give it away and know it was being used or appreciated by someone else – perhaps someone who really needs it!
I would face death in a purely genuine way, free of trepidation or pretense. Without the weight of fear and regret, I would experienced the true lightness of being! What a way to go!
Does anyone else find it absurd that we might face death in such an authentic way? What about the way we LIVE? After all, we have more control over our lives than our deaths. At least, we have today – this moment – to begin to get it right. Why squander all that freedom and light on death? If it’s worth doing then, shouldn’t we be doing it right now?