It’s something we’ve all experienced but something we hate to think about. What scares us most is the unknowing, we don’t know what’s on the other side and knowing what you have is scarier than not knowing what you’re going to get. Besides the unknowing, death forces us to put everything in perspective, it makes us more aware of our mortality, it makes us more aware of life.
Like many of you, my life has been what seems like an endless rollercoaster right, filled with more downs than ups. There are moments I’m hoping I never had to go through again, looking back on it all, a part of me is happy for the experience and proud of myself for withstanding the storms. These moments, have made me appreciate the good times even more.
Here’s a poem I found some time ago and recently discovered it in my saved files. It’s not as macabre as the title implies but it is a true reflection of our reality.
On the day I die a lot will happen.
A lot will change.
The world will be busy.
On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.
The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.
The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.
All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.
The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.
The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.
All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.
My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.
Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away.
My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others here, will be left to them to complete anyway.
The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore.
All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.
The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before while I lived.
These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die.
Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing that will happen.
On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply.
They will feel a void.
They will feel cheated.
They will not feel ready.
They will feel as though a part of them has died as well.
And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me.
I know this from those I love and grieve over.
And so knowing this, while I am still alive I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it.
I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.
Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live; vying for your attention, competing for your affections.
They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating Now with those who love you and want only to share it with you.
Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.
It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die.
Don’t let your life be stolen every day, by all that you’ve been led to believe matters, because on the day you die—the fact is that much of it simply won’t.
Yes, you and I will die one day
But before that day comes: let us live.
This is my contribution to Debbie’s Forgiving Friday series, where she writes about and invite others to share their thoughts on Forgiveness, Self-Love and Personal Growth. Debbie, thank you and I am so grateful for the opportunity to contribute to your blog.