And if I die before I wake…

First of all, this post is not meant to be morbid.  It’s a reminder that our time here is limited.  This life can be over at any second without warning.

Yesterday, I learned that one of the Americans killed in Libya was someone I knew.  I met him once and didn’t know him really at all except by reputation of being a really good guy.  I felt like I had no right to be sad.  I didn’t know him well enough.  His family and good friends are allowed to be sad and fall apart, but not me.  I thought of a couple of his dear friends that I know and how crazy this must seem.

All of the emotions came flooding back from losing my best friend almost 7 years ago.  I can’t believe it’s already been 7 years.  Like I’ve said before, I’ll never get over it.  I don’t think you ever “get over” losing such an essential part of your life, but I picked up the pieces and kept on truckin.  I still miss Skipper when I really need someone to talk to or laugh with or when I watch Dumb and Dumber.  Some days are still really hard and surreal, but I am way past the denial stage.  I see him in the stars, feel his energy in the warm breeze.  I believe there is something after this life and I will see Skipper again, but I’m not a very patient person.  I hate waiting, dammit.

A typical Summer night with Skipper.

Life is now.  It can be over in a flash.  Losing Bizzle (Skipper) was another kick in the pants for me to live, really live not just waste oxygen.  I recently read a blog of a friend of mine who was diagnosed with HIV and that was his wake up call to really live.  I hope people can learn the lesson that life is short and you should find a way to live on your own terms and be happy without needing a tragedy or shocking medical diagnosis.

“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” 
-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 

So the question is: If I were to die today, would I be satisfied with my life?  If not, what are the things I want to do/wished I had done to feel satisfied when that day comes?

Of course, I don’t want to die at 31, but would I be satisfied with how I have chosen to spend my time?

For the most part, I am happy with my life and how I choose to live it (especially now that I’ve finally given up trying to fit into the conventional life of a 9-5).  I have given up caring what other people think of me and listening to their judgments.  I am following my dream of traveling, surfing all over the world, and being a writer at all costs.  I try to keep in touch with the people I care about most.  I am radically honesty about everything.

If I die today there will be things left undone that I want for my life: finish writing my book, have a family (finally give my ma some grandkids), etc.  But I am happy.  This may not have been the case a few months ago when I was not being true to myself and what I want for my life.  This is another reminder to just be me. 

Not too long ago, I saw a link to the top 5 regrets of the Dying floating around my Facebook news feed.

An Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, spent several years caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Funny how the list doesn’t include wishing they had worked longer hours, made more money, etc.  (I am not against work and money, I just don’t believe in being a slave to work or money).

What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?

day 26 of 365 day challenge