Imagine, if you will, that you’re lying on your deathbed. It’s been a good life, happily a long one. It’s been full of fascinating characters, many of whom you’ve hugged in love. You’ve been places – some that show up in travel films and some that perhaps you alone have seen. You’ve been good to people, even those who have been mean to you.
As your eyes feel like closing, the bed is surrounded by children who are sad, mourning your leaving. What would you say to them? A few pieces of advice to carry them along.
If I were that person, I’d look in those kids’ eyes and say …
Go towards people, towards experiences. Don’t back away. Don’t let your fear turn you around. Get close and see who’s there. Feel their gifts as they find their way to you.
Welcome everything … the precious and the demeaning, the uplifting and downtrodding. Every experience has brought you to today. Every future moment will carry you amid all the tomorrows. And you in turn will be welcomed into the full spectrum of living.
Love outrageously, because reason has no place in such an arena. Love the flowing hair and also the warts. Let nothing distract you from communion with the other. And challenge the beloved to be the best possible version of themselves.
Throw out the books with all their borrowed wisdom. There’s plenty inside you to see you through. Trust the goodness there.
Know that you are unique. Never before and never again has someone just like you come this way. You have the power to touch the world in a way that it’s never seen before.
Express yourself … over and over again. Be kind in your expressions but don’t omit them. Ask life “May I have this dance?”
Look in the mirror a lot and see the folks gazing out from your eyes.
Finally, don’t try to remember all this. Just live in gratitude for the time you are here.