I’ve attended many wakes and funerals in my life. A few of these still stand out from among the rest; they have been the most thought provoking. I’ve watched people and they’ve caused me to wonder. Why such relentless and tormenting sadness in some and not in others? Why did some lose the will to live and even attempt to jump into the grave? I believe that there are two culprits are to blame: uncertainty and regret. Uncertainty about life after death. Regret about what was left unsaid. It saddens me to see how this affects people.
This is my conclusion: Yesterday is over. Tomorrow may never come. We are here today and may be gone tomorrow, so let’s make the most of what we have now. Let’s not waste any more of our time regretting the things of the past. Let’s learn from our mistakes and go on; hoping and planning for the future without worrying about the outcome. Worry is a joy killer and serves no good purpose.
Today is in our hands. 86,400 seconds have been given to each of us this day. Second by second the day slips away. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. If you knew that this was your last day on earth what would you do? Take a second to think about this. It’s important. What would we exchange our allotted time for? Watching television? How many of us would wash the car or dust the furniture instead of watching the kids play?
We live as if there will always be more time tomorrow, when we all know that we are on borrowed time. Could that be the reason we are frustrated when we have to spend our time on someone else’s needs? Is that why we get irritated when we have to wait in line at the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, or at red lights? I believe this is the reason we are all silently angered when time is stolen from us.
Yet, we continue to waste so much of this precious gift on things that don’t really matter. We don’t notice that our priorities are lopsided until something shakes up our world. Heartbreak has a way of putting things into focus when nothing else will; loss is always conducive to introspection.
One of the many things my mother taught me was that people need to know they are loved while they are still alive. There is no better time than now to put love into action. I can still hear her tell me“Don’t wait until I die to give me flowers.”“Don’t wait to visit the people you love until they are in their grave.”She was right. We all need to know we are loved now. We all want to know that we matter now. We are all in desperate need to connect with others at the heart level.
Please don’t wait another day before you tell someone you’re sorry. Don’t spend one more day angry and resentful about something someone said. Will this really matter once they’re gone? Forgive quickly and ask for forgiveness even quicker.
Acknowledge and praise your kid’s accomplishments while they are still kids. It is amazing how your kind words will remain in their hearts for as long as they live, and will carry them through tough times. Encourage someone to do what they’ve been afraid to try. Laugh a lot, and laugh with all you have. Laughter really is great therapy—and it’s excellent belly exercise.
Spread your love around. It may be the only affection some people ever receive. Enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Lie on a trampoline and watch the clouds float by. Stop to watch a spider build its web with your children. Run on the beach with your eyes closed and feel the wind in your face. Dance to the music in your head and don’t worry about people watching you—do it because it makes you happy. Sing out loud whether you think you can sing or not.
I read somewhere that women need to be touched (affectionately) at least ten times a day. I would say that men and children need that too. There is something magical about a gentle touch.
Demonstrate your love to the people in your life every chance you get, without reservations, so there will be no regrets at the grave.