It's something we can't escape. We will all experience it someday yet no one likes to talk about it. I'm not sure if it's because we truly have no idea what will happen to us when we die or if it is the scary realization that our lives will one day be over that makes death an uncomfortable subject to discuss. I am one of those people that does not like to think about dying. I believe that in order to live your best life though you need to realize it will be over before you know it.
Like many people, my life has been full of many ups and downs. While I sometimes wish that I never had to go through the bad moments, looking back they truly made me appreciate the good moments. These moments, both good and bad have made me into the person I am today.
My mom shared the following poem with me about a year ago when I was having a fairly rough go of things. At first, I thought this poem was really morbid, but if you really read it and then re-read it, you'll realize that life is a beautiful fragile blink. We get so caught up in our daily routine, we sometimes forget to step back and take it all in.
This poem written by John Pavlovitz draws attention to the fact that when we die, everything we worried about during our daily routine will not matter and the world will not end. Pavlovitz is brilliant in his assessment about living your best life. I pull this piece out when I need a gentle reminder about this crazy thing called life. Mom, thank you for sharing this with me and thank you John Pavlovitz for your insight and for sharing it with the world.
"On the Day I Die," by John Pavlovitz
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 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.