Good Grief

If you knew that you’d be dead tomorrow what would you want everyone to remember about you? What would you wish you had done with your life? Is there anything you’d regret or do differently?

A few days ago I woke up thinking about my own death. It was not the old-lady-slow-progression-into-disease kind of death. This was “What if I die tomorrow? Would people be sad? Would my kids miss me? Will anyone remember the good things I’ve done? Have I made any difference at all?”

The very next day a woman I know died and it totally knocked the wind out of me. I didn’t believe it at first.  She wasn’t sick – she was just gone – like that! And she was MY age! I knew Michelle through friends, I saw her in town, I knew who her kids were, etc. And when I moved out of town she and I stayed friends on Facebook.

This woman was genuinely lovely. She was the most friendly, encouraging, real and humorous woman I knew. She had 12 kids. No you are not reading that wrong… 12!!!!  She was in the process of finding balance between taking care of her family and taking care of herself. She was trying to find time to exercise. She was trying to make healthy choices and be an example to her friends as well!

Some days she posted sweaty post-work-out pics. Some days she posted that she fit into a new size of jeans that week and was so excited! Some days she posted that she didn’t make it to the gym but she was going to forgive herself anyway.

I REALLY liked her. I liked how honest and transparent she was. I loved that she shared her struggles and joys and frustrations. I could relate to her and I admired her! And now she’s gone. POOF, like that!

I spent a couple of days in a fog, wandering around trying to make sense of what had happened. Of course, you can’t really make sense of it but you CAN learn from it. Death is final. There is no second act. We don’t get a second chance – that we know of. So we have to get it right the first time. We can’t screw around with our time here on earth! We have to make it count! THIS IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL PEOPLE!!!

If you were going to die tomorrow what do you think your eulogy would say? Would your friends and family say that you were kind and loving? Would your kids be devastated? Would there be people in your community who remembered you as friendly, giving and trustworthy?….OR would it be the other way around? I hope not.

Life is very short my friends. We can all be gone in an instant. So please do me a favor, Tell your friends and family that you love them often! Give them lots of hugs and try to be kind and forgiving. Apologize when you need to. Help each other out and spread hope around liberally! Live as though this is your last day….because you never know. Michelle didn’t.







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