Death should not be the end of your life. It should be the beginning of your "new" life. While working in the death care industry, I think I buried as many unfulfilled dreams as I buried bodies. I listened to countless families tell stories of unfulfilled wishes of their deceased loved ones. Stories of how the deceased always wanted to write a book, go fishing, climb a mountain, parasail, start a business, spend time with the grandchildren, work fewer hours, start a fitness program, travel the world, learn to play the piano, ski... the list goes on.
The death of a loved one naturally gives thought to our own mortality. Unfortunately, these thoughts are brief, lasting until we are back to our daily, usually rushed, routines of life. It is so often said that "life is short." What does that really mean? Try this experiment today. Ask at least ten people what does the statement, "Life is short" mean to them. In most cases, many will have to stop and think about it before they answer you.
We oftentimes spend a majority of our life getting ready to live our life; so, what does "living our life mean?" See how deep this can get if we keep going? So, let's talk about life. Here are three things that death can teach us about life:
- Life if precious, yet so fragile. We take so many of our life's situations and circumstances for granted. We assume that our newborn will be born healthy. We assume that our spouse, whom we argued with last night and didn't speak to this morning before leaving for work, will return home for dinner. We assume that our children will grow up to be well-respected professionals. It is usually the death of a loved one or close friend that heightens our sense of the fragility of life.
- Stop and smell the coffee. This saying we use often, but act upon rarely. When did you last sit or walk and marvel at the beauty of nature; notice the individual petals of a rose; stare into the waves of the ocean; experience and appreciate the innocent smile of a child; inhale and enjoy the aroma of a cup of coffee or tea; or, spend quality time with family and friends without cell phone and text interruptions?
- Find gratitude in everything. This is my favorite because, to me, this is really what life is all about. When we live a life of gratitude, you tend to find the positive in every situation. Find things each day to be grateful for. Keep a gratitude journal. When you greet each day with gratitude and love, and greet each person with gratitude and love (although sometimes not so easy to do), your perspective on life will change. This will also reduce many of the emotions felt when a loved one dies, especially guilt, regret, and anger.
I sum it up with my mantra, my slogan: Everything in life is temporary, including life itself. Decide to Say Yes! to the gift of now.
Read more about Dora at http://www.DoraCarpenter.com.
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For more information, you might enjoy reading my book, More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife. Purchase paperback on Amazon.com. It's also on Amazon as an e-book for those who have Kindle or Sony Readers. The audio book is now available!