Monday, September 2, 2013

A Lesson the Dying Can Teach Us about Living

Labor Day is a holiday for those of us who are constantly busy working all year long. It honors all of us as we hurry through our busy lives trying to make more money, do more overtime, work harder to get ahead. It is what we all do and what we are expected to do by society.

What the dying wants us to do is to regard our lives as precious moments making up our finite days. They want us to focus less on climbing up the corporate ladder and proving our accomplishments, and more on the true wonders in our life. They want us to take the time to find unexpected beauty that will be remembered with a wistful smile at the end of our days.
How wide is your life?

Maybe living a meaningful, passionate life has nothing to do with its’ length and everything to do with its’ width.

How wide is your life? Do you rush your children when they are trying to decide which flavor ice cream they want? Do you tell them not to be such a slow poke; that we are in a hurry? Are these the memories that you want to leave behind; memories of a hurried, distracted life?

When you’re living a distracted life, it seems that every minute must be accounted for. You feel like you must always be checking something off a list, staring at a computer screen, or rushing off to the next destination. And no matter how many ways you divide your time and attention, no matter how you multi-task, there’s never enough time in a day. So why not relax and enjoy your life? Why not cherish the time you spend with your children listening to their innocent musings? Or play with your beloved dog or cat. These are the memories you want to have given others and to have with you as you leave this world.

Cherish the moments of your life.

Don’t lose focus of the fact that your greatest investment will be in people, not things.  At the end, what will you bring to the hospital or hospice?  The dying bring the love and support of their family and friends. They don’t bring their huge house, or their expensive car or their elegant clothes. It is at this point in time that they begin to realize that the greatest investment in their lives has been in people. It is those loving people who will visit them, and who will shower them with support and love. It is these good wishes and blessings that they carry in their hearts. And when they have crossed over to the other side, they will continue to live in the hearts of those they loved and left behind. The surest way to achieve immortality is to invest in people.

What Death teaches us.

“Listen to people in their 80s; they’ve stared just across the street at death for a decade. They know what’s important in life.”-Patricia Lyons (84 yr. old woman on her deathbed)

Of all the classes we will take on earth, grief is by far the toughest one. Make precious memories to leave behind for loved ones at the end of your class.

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