More Than Death and Taxes

They say there are only two things in life you can truly count on: death and taxes. And while I’ve made a career of taking the sting out of the latter, up until recently, I hadn’t thought much about the former until it visited someone I hold dear.

I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I recently found out my friend was losing her battle with pancreatic cancer and entering hospice care.

The initial shock hits you like a ton of bricks, and is followed with an inconsolable feeling of helplessness. It’s a terribly morbid feeling, and one I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

But the benefit, although rather bleak, is that she’s able to get her things in line, say goodbye to loved ones, and make peace with the situation. A benefit that I wouldn’t have considered much of a benefit until recently.

But the first time you really stop to think about life, or death for that matter, you’ll quickly come to the harsh realization that no one is promised tomorrow, and that sadly, not everyone gets their goodbye.

And the more I thought, the more I started to re-evaluate myself and my own outlook on life. Life is beautiful, but life is short; so what can we do to make the most of our time?

Live it Up

With the rigors of day-to-day life, I think sometimes we all seem to forget that we’re not here on Earth to survive; we’re here to live.

We make time for work; we make time for our responsibilities; we even make time for stress and anxiety to claw their way into our everyday lives. But how often do we make time to help someone else, or make time to do things that we’d like to do instead of spending so much time doing things we have to do? There’s only so much time, so we might as well spend it doing something we enjoy, right?

Think About Others

Not to mention, oftentimes in life we overlook how we treat others and what we can do for those around us, especially those we hold closest to our hearts. None of us will ever know if we’re going to get our goodbyes until that inevitable day comes, so why not always treat those around you with respect and kindness? After all, we never know which conversation we have with someone is going to be the last.

I’ve decided now that I’m no longer going to overlook the subtleties of life, and all of its small beauties. I’m going to enjoy myself, I’m going to appreciate the little things, and I’m going to do everything I can to help others around me and those in need. I’ll be damned if I’m going to waste my short time here on this planet just trying to survive, I’m tired of that mentality; I’m going to live my life, and to the fullest.

And to my dear friend, thank you for showing me the value of life and teaching me this lesson, along with so many more. While death may be an inevitable process of life, it’s not something to be afraid of, or worry about. It’s something to make you fly through life by the seat of your pants, making sure you lived up every moment like it was your last. Many people have trouble truly appreciating things until they’re gone, and unfortunately for some people, that thing is life itself.

But I won’t let that be me any longer. So thank you, Millie, as long as you are in our hearts and our memories, and your wisdom lives on, you will always be with us.