Death 101: Homework

My brother-in-law died today. He and my sister had been divorced for many years, however, he was still part of the family. He served in the Air Force, but did not have a will. Why was that? He had been ill and knew that his time was almost up and yet, no will. What was he thinking? It was something he could do for free as a way to tie up loose ends and pave the way for those that followed.

When I was 27-years-old, my dad died. He was only 53.  My mom died when I was 40. Neither of them had a will or life insurance.  When I was 48, my husband died. You can bet we both had wills, medical proxies, living wills and anything else that would help the living deal with the dying.

In the book titled, Regrets of the Dying – the first regret often shared is this:
“I wish I’d have to courage to live a life true to myself and not the life others expected of me.”

When I’ve asked others if they would take a different path and do something different, I am often told, “NO.”
They would not change a thing.
But I would. I would change everything.

Because if I change everything, then it’s a whole different tapestry. It’s still a work of colorful art, with threads that might go north and south instead of east and west.  It’s me. It’s like taking the road less traveled and coming out of the woods onto a blank canvas. I would still choose marriage eventually, but I would be older, educated and have allowed myself to experience the music, love and drugs of my time. I would have attended concerts, universities, lectures, and traveled across my country and abroad.

And by doing all those things I would have learned a bit more about me. There’s nothing wrong with the path I took. I had two beautiful sons, eventually got my education, moved to another state, met amazing people, took wonderful trips and landed where I am … right here and now.

…Writing this blog to you about death and taking the necessary steps before you die.

Those steps include writing a will, finding a medical proxy, writing your obituary (yes, you heard me!) writing love letters to all those people who need to hear from you, making phone calls and mending friendships. Do something kind today and each day until you take your last breath. Care to take this challenge? You can start by being kind to me and leaving me a ‘Hello’ message below.

I hope your day is filled with light, kindness and love!

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Breathe in the stars!

Summertime begs me to hop into my Toyota Sienna van and take a trip. I long to find a place where I can spend the night under the darkest sky and breathe in the stars. In the middle of June, during a camping adventure with my partners in crime & adventure – I most enjoyed my time when everyone was asleep and the sky was awake.

In the quiet, I felt my soul come to life during that in-between time when dreams are allowed to manifest . Without interruptions, conversations or technology pulling my thoughts away,  I gave in to the twinkle of the stars.

And it made me wonder… what happens when someone dies? Are they really gone forever? Or are their soul’s there for me to connect with? And …what is my purpose on this planet? Is there something I need to be doing and if so, what is it?

There was a time, years ago outside Taos, NM when I lay on a blanket under the stars and let the tears fall from my eyes. The night sky was so spectacular, the evening was so quiet, the shooting stars were abundant and for that brief moment in time … all was well. I was in the right place, at the right time with the right person. I had no idea then how many times I would relive that beautiful moment.

I am still making memories for those nights thirty years from now and I will remember kayaking on the water in the early morning hours, cold drinks with good friends, nonstop laughing and I will ask myself the same thing – What happens after we die? Will my soul connect with other souls? Did I serve my purpose in life? Should I have done more?

Tell me if you know – “what happens when …?”