Yesterday my homegirl called me and we engaged in one of our usual discussions about what's going on and what you been up to and so forth. Midway into our conversation, she calmly says to me "Today I realized that I am going to die alone." I'm like why are you talking like that? She told me that she reached this "aha moment" while choking on her sandwich and having no one around to rescue her. I knew that her kids were home at the time; I'm sure they would help her in such a situation and suggested she make sure they learn the Heimlich maneuver. But my girl was not amused. She said that when she meant alone, she meant not having that special person to grow old with. And she went on to say that even if she was apart from that special person at the time she died, she would not feel alone because she'd know that person loved her wherever they were. I reassured her that her concern was a bit premature given that we're barely thirty yet and still have a lot of life to live.
Or so we hope.
As easy as it is to acknowledge that tomorrow is not promised, it is just as easy to take today for granted. The truth of the matter is I have no idea how much life myself or anyone else has to live. We hope, pray, and plan for longevity without knowing if we'll ever achieve it at all. And even though death plays a huge role in all of our lives, most of us do our best to tiptoe around the subject for as long as possible as if that will keep it further away or stall it for some time.
Unless you have a terminal illness, there is no way of knowing when your time will come. So how can we prepare ourselves for such an event? Some folks purchase insurance policies and have wills drawn up to protect their assets and secure financial support for their families. That's all good but I'm more concerned with the mental and emotional aspect.
Stick with me here... I promise it ain't as dark and stormy as it may seem thus far.
Ten years ago, I had to engage in an exercise where I was asked to write my own eulogy. I could make up whatever I wanted... D&S dedicated her life to social activism and fighting for the rights of those less fortunate in her community. She also became the first female DJ to bless the airwaves of commercial radio in the DMV. She leaves behind a devoted husband, three loving children, and five precious grandbabies. You get the point. The purpose of the exercise was to identify how you want to be remembered so that you could start taking the necessary steps today to live that life.
That was one of the most eye opening experiences ever for me. It made me realize that we truly only have one shot at this life we've each been blessed with and we never know when our time will run out. As a chronic procrastinator, I have to remind myself from time to time that I won't always be able to put something off until tomorrow. I would be more devastated by dying without accomplishing certain things in my life than I would be by dying alone. But that's just my screwed up way of thinking.
I wish I saved a copy of that eulogy from ten years ago but it's never too late to start on a new one. I plan on starting on it today so that I can get to working on it today. Tomorrow is a beautiful wish that I always hope will come true.
How do you want to be remembered?
Dark & Stormy
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot