How Death Can Remind Us to Live More Fully

When losing a loved one leads to an important pivot.

In a moving Financial Times piece, Lucy Kellaway shares how the death of her father affected her view of how she was spending time. After a decade of being a journalist, she co-founded the charity Now Teach— an organization that encourages professionals to pivot to teaching careers.

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In reviewing more than 800 applications to Now Teach, Kellaway saw striking similarities to her own experience: People were leaving behind long careers to tackle something more challenging, and arguably meaningful, after the death of a friend or family member.

The “death of someone you love makes you take stock, whether you want to or not,” Kellaway writes. “Part of the reason people trundle along in the same jobs is because it is easier to keep doing them than to stop. The brutality of death is a disruptor of habit — it stops the living in their tracks.”

Kellaway writes that instead of reflecting on our mortality as a countdown to the inevitable end, we can think of how much time we have left as the motivation to start anew: “What the death of my father has taught me is that in late middle age there is plenty of time to start all over again.”

Read more on the Financial Times.