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.

He was a gift here with his grandson last Christmas and will always be.
He was a gift here with his grandson last Christmas and will always 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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Comments 22 comments

donnaisabella profile image

donnaisabella 7 years ago from Fort Myers

I have enjoyed your hub so much. Thanks for reminding me to pass on the gift of my loved ones. I lost a very beloved aunt, a friend and partner in June of this year. She was a great story teller, she never tired of looking after the sick, it is amazing that she was so patient and it was what she did til her death. I had determined to pass on that gift of her by doing something about her calling - because it was rare - and I should.

Thanks too for the Dr Randy video, I never heard about him before but I can tell he had a great spirit. The end brought tears to my eys, but then, who is guaranteed life?

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you donnaisabella for your lovely comment. Life is temporary, the gift is everlasting. Your Aunt sounds like she was truly special as story tellers and caregivers are. I'm sure she would be proud of you to carry on her calling as indeed it is a rare blessing.

Justine76 7 years ago

This as a tremendously good messages. I too lost my Father, in December, 9 years ago now. We had a strained relatiosnhsip at best, yet I still think of him this time of year. Thank you for sharing this, and I wish you a good holiday. May you find peace and happiness.

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you Justine76. I'm sorry you didn't get more time to build a better relationship with your father. After my mother died, my father and I were just learning to relate to each other when he died. I guess these are lessons themselves for us to make the most of the time we have in our relationships. I wish you much happiness.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

My heart was breaking as I read this Hub and thought about you and your daughters. This is real writing. As real as real gets. Thank you very much for reminding me what is important—and what isn't.

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you James for your kind words. Be happy and pass it on.

Crazdwriter 7 years ago

This is beautiful, Uli and I totally appreciated you writing this since I too had to deal with my grandpa being gone this Christmas, him having died the day before Thanksgiving plus his bday was Dec. 26th. I am glad I stumbled upon this great hub. I truly enjoyed raeding it and again you are very strong for posting it. *HUGS*

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much Crazd. This family time of year is such a harsh reminder of loved ones that are no longer with us. I can truly relate to what you are going through. My father died during the holidays nine years ago (Dec. 29). I still miss him as you will always miss and silently remember your grandpa this time of year. HUGS back.

e-lyl 7 years ago

Hello Crazd,

We are also Grandparents, have lost many family and friends, and are at an age when our mortality is a thing of which we are very much aware.

To paraphrase the line in Alice in Wonderland, 'Growing old is not for sissies.'

Thank you for your hub.

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks for reading e-lyl. I agree growing old is certainly an awakening to our own mortality which brings home the message to strive to be happy with what we have today.

Richieb799 profile image

Richieb799 7 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

Hey honey, thanks for the comment, it wasn't you who skipped me it was that Jyoti guy, he's done it before, he pops into the thread and posts a random link. I like this hub, its not that upsettiing, you are giving good advice on making the most of life :D

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks Richieb799 for making me feel better re. the thread and for taking the time to check out my hub. You totally get the message I was trying to make. Life is too short and we all can leave some positive influence behind.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Wow- that is so straight up. Thank you very much. Great job!

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 6 years ago from Canada Author

Your comment is very much appreciated, thanks Micky Dee.

Quietest Moments 6 years ago

Someone else who..'gets it'.. I am so thankful that we have crossed paths, you are an inspiration to many and I thank you so very much for sharing your deepest thoughts. You're truly a kindered spirit. Hugs

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much Quietest Moments for your kind words. My grandson (in the picture) has been visiting for a few days and I haven't been able to get on the computer. I am grateful for each moment I get to see the wonderful smile on his cute little face. Take care.

gramarye profile image

gramarye 6 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

Thanks for reminding me of that great movie! I needed this today!

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 6 years ago from Canada Author

Glad I could help gramarye.

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States

I felt your sharing, could have a great impact on a person needing to feel they are not alone. I added a link to your hub. You did a great job! I also rated this up! It's very beautiful.

uliveulearn profile image

uliveulearn 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much angela for your comment and link. It means a lot.

Marjatta profile image

Marjatta 5 years ago

Hi uliveulearn, I just came across your article now, having just lost my partner a month ago. You are SO right about truly living one's life - for it is a gift that was given to us for however long it was meant to last. Just because our loved ones have journeyed on before us does not mean we ourselves have nothing left to offer the world, no one who needs us, and no one who cares.

We have each been given an incredible opportunity to experience so many things - both joyous and sad - and all of those experiences become a part of us before we continue our journey.

Excellent philosophy you have there! Thank you for brightening my own day because this time of year is especially difficult for so many of us.

P.S. But the video link didn't work for me, though. It said it was "private" - invitation only.

ken blair profile image

ken blair 4 years ago

I think that we need to continue living a happy life despite of losing someone. We find beauty in this life if we keep on appreciating what we have at present. Great hub!

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