I wouldn’t say that I’m preoccupied with death all of the time. I would say that I think about death in ways that would teach me to live my life that’s true to me and that when all is said and done, when I’m six feet under, it’s important that I have had a fulfilling life, one where I made small and large impacts while I was here. I probably do a lot of it more often than the average person perhaps because most of my adult life I’ve worked and volunteered in cancer hospital, dialysis center, hospices, Alzheimer’s care and elder care facilities, children’s hospitals, and refugees assistance programs to name a few.
I also believe that through all my travels over the years to places like Burma, India, Cambodia, Laos and now living in Thailand as well as our many service trips to Mexico and New Orleans, have opened my eyes to living with constant and continual gratefulness. Simple gratefulness for the life I’ve been privileged to in America for 30+ years. Each day, I do my best to live mindfully, painfully aware of how fortunate I truly am. Gratefully aware that I must give back and I must do so until I no longer feel physically and mentally possible.
It’s simple. Before I die I want to continue doing what I’m doing being mindful of these things I wrote about not too long ago.
Early this year, we lost someone close to us. One of Jack’s dear friend whom was one of the groomsmen at our wedding died days before his 45 birthday. It’s true. The death especially suddenly and unexpectedly, remind us that life is tender and brief. Thinking about death gives me clarity about my priorities in life.
I’ve read and heard about Candy Chang in late 2009, early 2010 when she started this project in New Orleans. I thought “WOW! How inspiring!” Recently she appeared on TEDx in Scotland. I am inspired once again by her talk. Here is her video of that TED Talk.
The link still works although it was embeded on this page but for some reason, it only appears as a link. You can either click on the link or google Candy Chang, Before I die, I want to—- on TED.
“Make space for reflection and contemplation, remembering what’s most important to us as we grow and change. Two of the most valuable things we have are time and relationships with others. In our age of increasing distractions, its more important than ever to find ways to maintain perspective and remember that life is brief and tender. Preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life. ” ~ Candy Chang