Two weeks ago I found out a good friend of mine has pancreatic cancer is only expected to live another month at most (he’s only 42). My wife found out today that one of her childhood friends drowned Sunday while river rafting. Both of these situations are tragic. There are young children in both families. One person’s life is over. Nothing else can be done. One person has a few precious weeks to “finish” his life story.
One of my favorite songs for the past couple years has been a country song titled “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw. Iove that idea because in reality, we are all dying, or at least move closer to it each second.
My friend is fortunate in one way, he has some time and can say good bye and try to accomplish some things he wants
When I heard the news, I wanted to visit him, but I struggled with whether I should call on him. On one hand I really wanted him to know that I cared about him and his family, and to thank him for the positive influence he has been on my life. On the other, I felt guilty taking some of the precious time he has left. In the end it was a potential life changing experience for me, and for him…he said this was exactly how he wanted to spent his final days…in the company of those he loves, his friends and family.
Here’s what I learned from him.
Handle death with grace and optimism, through the faith that there is more to come after this life…there is a plan. He is doing this amazingly well.
Work now to create a legacy that will last long after death. You never know when life will end and for those who know time is short, trying to make up for lost time or unfulfilled dreams can make the time left hectic.
Parent like you are dying (without the overindulgence that is likely to occur. This one goes along with the legacy building I mentioned above. In my opinion, there is no greater legacy than a strong second generation (and hopefully third and fourth) a good, honest, service oriented posterity.
Leave this existence with no enemies and lots of loved ones.
Leave with dreams fulfilled. And these dreams have nothing to do with money.
I appreciate the good his short visit has done for me and others. It has realigned my direction with my values. Hopefully his early passing might in some small way be a benefit to you too. He would want that.
Live Like You Were Dying!