How to Deal with Death and Dying by Living Happily.
Dealing with death is an experience every one of us will share. There is a time in life for everything, a time to mourn, a time to remember and a time to smile. December may not seem like a good month to be writing this but it will be my children's first Christmas without their father and I lost my father in December eight years ago so for me the time is right. It is heart wrenching to lose a loved one, no matter what age or circumstance. I apologize if I offend anybody in writing this. My intention is to help in my own small way to allow ourselves to move on, to mourn, to let go, to remember and to be happy.
I watched a movie the other day titled "Is Anybody There". When I read the write up I thought it was going to be an inspiring story. It was touching but mostly it just made me think about death and dying. It was a story about a ten year old boy, Edward played by Bill Milner growing up in a retirement home. Being surrounded by death he develops an insensitive, unhealthy obsession with it. He has no friends and his parents, wrapped up in their own struggles have forgotten how to live as a family. He befriends a new resident, Clarence played by Michael Caine who is dealing with past regrets and is also alone in life. In the end the boy feels a newfound respect for life and loss when this friend dies.
It's Important to come to terms with regrets in life.
One of the things this movie made me think is that regrets can swallow you up whole. Many people have regrets to come to terms with and accept. It is no good to hang on to those regrets to a point of being alone and miserable in the end without having contributed much to the world when you leave it. Letting go and coming to terms with regret is a difficult but important part of living and dying. Clarence, the resident friend was able to let go in the end and leave a part of himself behind to aid the young boy in living his life happily. That is a gift.
The gift of happiness is precious.
In the end it doesn't matter what material possessions one had but what one had to offer of himself. The gift of happiness is as precious as they come. Isn't that what it all comes down to really? Isn't that what we all seek? And when a loved one dies, don't we only want to remember what made them happy or how they made us happy?
I remember an uncle who didn't say much but he was always smiling. He didn't have much material possessions but was content with life and the beauty that surrounded him such as children and nature. Another uncle was a more vocal person who always seemed miserable and treated people with disrespect. Now which one do you think I would want to be more like? The first uncle unknowingly left behind a message, just by being happy. I would strive more in my life to have his inner peace.
When I remember my parents I want to instil in myself their
positive qualities and hopefully more to leave behind for my children enriching
their lives and to continue the gift of happiness. This is why good people should not be
forgotten. They are reminders to pass on
the gift of happiness to each generation to live harmoniously with others
making the world a better place. So you
see we each have a purpose in life. Remember the gift left behind of a loved one.......the memory of life, love and happiness.
Remember the gift of a loved one, be happy and pass it on.
Although my girls are grown women in their twenties, it is a terrible blow to lose their wonderful father at such a tender age. They will carry an emptiness in their hearts for the rest of their lives but they will also remember the amazing man he was and the most precious gift he gave them and they will be happy as he would want them to be.
It's not about death, it's about life.
I don't generally like to use long videos but the following is an exception worth ten minutes of your time to watch. Dr. Randy Pausch leaves a powerful message of how to live. He didn't waste a minute of his life, even doing this talk months before his death due to pancreatic cancer. Among many things I took away from this video, I enjoyed these quotes - "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted" and "It's not about death, it's about life". I would bet you will watch it more than once as I did.
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