“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~Mother Teresa
Everything bad comes in threes, or so they say. So check, done. In the past month I have attended three funerals – two women and one man. Each diverse and meaningful in its own way. As I reflect on the message above, it rings loud and clear.
We need to live today, because who knows what tomorrow will bring.
The two women died suddenly – one in a car accident, the other from a major, unsuspected heart attack – and both leaving their families reeling from the shock and the dreadful loss.
While losing a loved one at any time is hard enough, when you don’t have any warning or get to say goodbye or to tell the person how much you care about them, it makes the loss that much harder to bare.
Both women were taken in their prime, 58 and 66, too close for comfort to my own age, and it really has given me pause for thought. It is unfortunate that we need to have these dreadful wake up calls to remind us that life is precious and we need to live each day to the fullest.
In each instance as I learned more about their lives, which were as diverse as you could get – one a university professor and global expert in her field and the other a farmer – it hit home to me that these were strong, interesting women and I wish I’d had the chance to get to know them better.
The third was for the husband of a friend. In his case, he’d been diagnosed with cancer three years ago, but choose to live his life to the fullest, making sure he squeezed in as much love and fun as he could in the time he had left. He was 55.
I didn’t know him at all, but I wish I had – he sounded like my type of guy. And if I had to rate the funerals, his would score high. Why? Because it was more of a celebration of his life, without too much of the religious overtones which, while I know brings comfort to many, can for me, detract from the true celebration of the person being remembered.
My takeaway from all this is that sweating over the small stuff in life is such a waste of time, especially if your time, unbeknownst to you, is limited. Don’t waste it. Make sure you share yourself with those who matter to you. Tell them how you feel. And if you meet someone you want to get to know better, take the time, don’t wait.
Sadly I have reached the stage where funerals are becoming a regular occurrence in my life, and with each funeral, I get closer to finalizing my own exit plans. I almost have a score card, and am getting clearer on what I want, and don’t want, for my final party. I guess once an event planner, always an event planner, even if I’m not going to attend this one.
So live your life and follow your dreams, because who knows what tomorrow will bring.
by Anne Day