When I die I hope there’s a celebration – a time when those I love gather to immerse themselves in the joys I found while on this earth, and hopefully the mark I’ve left. I hope this happens whether I die soon and unexpectedly, or once I’ve aged and grown tired of living.
My hope is that I will be with my forever person by then. And if I’m the first between us to take the last breath, it will be for them to orchestrate this little gathering; showing my loved one’s the little things about me that shaped me daily: the cartoons that left me in stitches, my gag gift and vintage t-shirt collection, obscure estate sale finds and so forth.
I hope on the day of this celebration it’s sunny with a light rain. And while my favorite songs play in the background, everyone grabs a glass of Côtes du Rhône, and stands outside. I will be felt in the rain, as much as I will be felt in the sun; so they will find me there.
I hope everyone takes the time to kick off their shoes, and feel the grass under their feet. I like to do that when I can. I like to breathe deep the air that surrounds me when infused with lilacs too; so I hope timing is on my side.
I hope my children gather, and think a moment about how I worked hard to carry out my life’s purpose and desires while honoring my parental obligations; how I tried not to sacrifice myself or them, but instead find balance. They will remember the many times I was at my tipping point. But also I hope they remember the many times I steadied myself again. There was a time when I believed my sole reason for being was to raise them – nothing more – nothing less. In time it was shown to me that by living such a life I was failing them, as they would never learn what makes a healthy life if not first witnessing it from me. I anguished when taking my first steps in that direction. But now they know, life is to be lived. I hope I gave them that example. I hope I lived.
These things can happen unexpectedly. Such is the case that prompts this post tonight. A young woman recently lost her life, as many do. I almost did. I can’t say why such a thing happens to those that are so good and touch so many. Part of me believes that on a soul-level it is to awaken the rest of us; reminding us to make use of each day. We take so for granted the days that sit buried within the calendar; we believe we own them merely because they are in print. We own nothing but the moment we are in, however. And yet the illusion of countless days causes us to put off countless dreams. I have to wonder this evening what dreams, if any, this young lady was hoping to step into one day. Many things in life shouldn’t be rushed but on the same note, we shouldn’t make light of the days we are given either.
If I die tomorrow, I will not have stepped into all of my dreams. Some I have. And for that there is cause for celebration. I haven’t yet stepped into the dream of waking each day to the sight of my life’s love and confidant lying beside me. I haven’t traveled the world over. And I haven’t mastered my French, nor the piano, violin or drums. I have many novels and stories waiting to be written. Many experiences waiting to be felt. But my feet are pointed in the right direction. And again, for that there is cause for celebration. This post isn’t to end on a sad note. No. We should end on a high note. To the best of our ability we should end every day on a high note. Let us rest each night knowing we grabbed hold of these dreams, and made them our own. We must push past our fears and our scars. We must push past the ties that bind. When all is said, regardless of the when, let our life be that celebration.