post written by: Marc Chernoff

6 Reasons You Aren’t Dead Yet


6 Reasons You Aren’t Dead Yet

“Though the road’s been rocky, it sure feels good to me.”
―Bob Marley

About a decade ago my grandmother, a woman whom I respected and cherished dearly, turned eighty years old.  I’ve written about her before, but I’ll do her justice once again by restating that she was one of the wisest and most humble people I’ve ever known.  Although a bit soft-spoken, every time she did speak priceless wisdom rattled the eardrums of those lucky enough to be around.

On the evening of her eightieth birthday, in a moment of genuine humility but obvious self-doubt she asked me, “Marc, at my age, do you think I still matter?  Do you think I still have more to achieve?”  I was completely speechless and I stumbled over my words for several seconds.  Here I am in the presence of someone whom I have an undying respect for, and she’s asking me whether or not she matters.

I finally collected myself and said, “Grandma, yes – 110% yes!  You matter and you still have a lot to look forward to.  I’m not telling you this because I love you, but because it’s the truth.  As time rolls on you will prove this truth to yourself, and I will be there to support you every step of the way.”

My grandmother sat silently for a moment, smiled and replied, “Thank you dear.  I needed to hear that.  I’m honestly looking forward to the journey ahead.”

Over the course of the next decade, until she finally passed away at 90, my grandmother lived intently and joyously.  She wrote, painted, volunteered at hospitals and community centers, and learned several new skills (my favorite of which was playing the piano).  And of course, she remained a beacon of wisdom to everyone around her.

Her moment of self-doubt always stuck with me though and I still think about it from time to time.  Now, all these years later, I realize that people in all walks of life lose hope every day – sometimes for just a few minutes and sometimes for prolonged periods of time.

What’s most important is to remember that, regardless of our specific situation, there’s always hope to be found.  While we’re alive there’s always something meaningful left to experience and appreciate.  Here are some thoughts on what we all still have to live for…

1.  The power of now.

Every moment is equally special.  Every moment is a gift.

Your life is not between the moments of your birth and death.  Your life is between now and your next breath.  The present moment is all the life there ever is.

Your entire lifespan is simply composed of ‘right nows.’  The best is not in front of you or behind you.  It’s within you always in each moment.

So my challenge to you is this:  Open your eyes.  Wake up.  Be attentive.  Appreciate this moment for what it is.  Regard the present as another chance to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and sensations life has to offer.  Enjoy the big things that we often mistake as little things.  Read 1,000 Little Things.

2.  Your ability to learn something new.

Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.”  What this means to me in the simplest of terms:  Every day is a gift, and the gift is learning.

Be a student of life.  Indulge in it, learn from it and absorb all the knowledge you can.  The purpose of your life is to live it in full, to experience it to the utmost, to reach out with an open mind for the newest and richest experience being offered at the time.

3.  Knowing you gave it your best shot.

Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of leaving the rest of your life unlived.  You don’t have to live forever; you just have to live passionately right now while you have a chance.  Keep in mind that life hasn’t afforded everyone this chance.  You have been gifted a priceless opportunity.

Forget about how you thought things were supposed to be.  Just because some things didn’t work out as you had expected, or didn’t happen as fast as you thought they would, is no excuse to give up on yourself.  Time passes one way or the other.  Do what you need to do so that, at the very least, you can look back someday and say, “I gave life my best shot.”  Read Tuesdays with Morrie.

4.  The wisdom and strength you have within you.

Human beings don’t become wise by reading books – they become educated.  Living out experiences firsthand in the real world, one day at a time, is what gives birth to wisdom.  Ultimately wisdom is what you get when you test out the waters for yourself.  This kind of life experience is the most valuable asset you own.

Sometimes on the road to acquiring wisdom life will beat you down, but you have to stand back up.  Because nothing is more beautiful and powerful than a soul who has weather and grown through life’s difficulties.  Don’t regret your time, even the moments that were filled with hurt.  Smile because you learned from it all and because you gained enough strength to rise above it all.

In the end, it’s not what you have been through that matters; it’s how you got through it that defines your life and your legacy.

5.  The positive difference you can make.

Learn to give, even if it’s just a smile, not because you have too much, but because you know there are so many others out there who feel like they have nothing at all.  You always have the ability to be kind, and kindness really does make the world a better place.

Smile at people who look like they’re having a rough day.  Give them a hand if you’re able.  Kindness is the only investment that never fails, and wherever there’s another human being there’s an opportunity for kindness.

As a bonus, when you’re kind to others and bring happiness into their lives, you will not be able to keep it from yourself either.  Read The How of Happiness.

6.  You are worthy.

The greatest thinking trap is self-rejection.  When you begin to believe the negative voices in your head that sometimes call you worthless, then the thought of leaving this world can seem like an attractive option.  What you need to realize is: these negative voices are lies.

As soon as someone accuses you or criticizes you, as soon as you are rejected, left alone, or abandoned for a short time, you might find yourself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.”  What you need to realize is, these other people are NOT worthy of YOU.

Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of emotional growth because it contradicts the sacred inner voice that calls you “worthy.”  And being worthy constitutes the core truth of every human existence.

Say it out loud if you have to:  “This is my journey, and I am worthy of the trip.”

Closing thoughts.

As Hemingway so profoundly said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

You may feel discouraged.  You may feel upset.  You may feel too old.  You may be sick.  You may be divorced.  You may be unemployed. You may be financially strapped.  You may be…  etc.

But you’re not dead – YOU ARE ALIVE.  Your journey is not over.

NO matter what, this simple fact alone is proof that you still have something meaningful to achieve.

Your turn…

What makes you feel most alive?  What gives your life meaning?  Leave us a comment below and let us know.

Photo by: Jhong Dizon

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104 Comments

  • I don’t know how I came across your blog, but I am so glad I did. Reading your posts are like a breath of fresh air. I love reading your short and sweet reinforcing positive points. They seriously level me out and keep things in perspective for me. Thank you for making a difference in my life.

    And to answer your question, right now I honestly feel most alive because of the inspiration you have been giving me recently and because of my supportive wife who always pushes me to be my best self.

  • Thank you… so much. You have no idea how much I needed this today.

  • Powerful post and self-rejection is what I still struggle with on occasion. What gets me through it is by looking at my accomplishments and the potential I have to give to the world in the future.

    What gives my life meaning is the help I can give others, whether it’s my words or with my actions. I wonder at times whether or not I’ve made a difference yet, but I keep going because regardless there is still days to come to do so.

  • Simply beautiful. I love your point about being and feeling worthy.

    Working on growing my small arts and crafts store to a profitable business over the last year has what’s been making me feel most alive. Working on something I believe in daily gives my life meaning.

  • I’ve been depressed and suicidal on and off for the past two years, and almost lost hope and tried to end it all. I’d just like you to know your posts have brought out something wonderful in me and possibly someone somewhere else in the world. Thanks for being a blessing to all those out there seeking just the right words… The words that you’ve chosen here are priceless.

  • My kids… that is it… nothing else is left.

  • Writing and feeling inspired makes me feel most alive, my love gives my life meaning, and I want to personally thank you for this article. You affect me which in turn affects families for a week with positivity. So thank you for this zombie-like, positivity infection that I have contracted because of you. Time to go out into the world and “bite” some people.

  • I had never thought that words could be so powerful. This honestly changed my perspective. It’s truly an amazing article that I have just finished reading for the third time in a row.

  • Excellent post… again.

  • For me its my young kids, because they really do live in the moment and they have that insatiable curiosity we tend to lose when we become adults.

    An excellent article which I’ve bookmarked and will read again and again. Thank you for posting.

  • This article is so true! Thank you so much it brought tears to my eyes and best of all a positive realization! :) xx

  • You guys are awesome! Thank you again. I have taken so much from your posts, I can only hope to pass on half of what I’ve received!

    ~Peace, Love & Joy

  • We come across websites from all sorts of angles, and I’m glad I found this one. My own Mum is 90 years old, fit as a fiddle, out every day. Her birthday was last August. Had a party for her. Two sons traveled over 12,000 miles to attend, as did two adult grandsons who made it a surprise for her. All her family was there plus lots of friends. That’s how much we care and think about her. Nice to be important, and she is….

  • I feel most alive and have meaning when I’m writing.

  • marilyn bonacorso
    April 8th, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Another great read. Thanks again.

  • I absolutely love your blog - I came across it on FB one day, and your writings have changed my perspective on so many things!

    What makes me feel alive? Looking at the world around me with “new eyes”: sitting quietly in a park watching squirrels and birds, driving and marveling at the structures in the city or the countryside in a rural setting, going to an event and watching the interactions between people attending it, making someone SMILE!

  • I thank for the positive message; unfortunately most of the time I fear to take certain steps for the fear that I might fail.

  • Every day - “Marc and Angel Hack Life” in my life. All your posts help me to brighten up my days, win the battles with the doubts and fears make me love and cherish my close ones. Thank you! Sincerely, Kristina

  • To Suman:
    Your children are a wonderful, special part of your life. But you, you are left…

  • Giving the best of me to this world and the people in it. Helping others who suffer like I once did. Making somebody smile, whether it be anclose friend kf the clerk at the gas station. Listening with compassion. Hearing people and hearing a message/lesson. Learning to be humble. Looking in the mirror and saying with honesty that I did my best today. Essentially all of the things that I read abounconstantly in your messaging, which is why I love it so much :) THANK YOU

  • Not sure I have found my purpose in life yet, but I keep trying. Your beautiful words do help.

  • Thank you Marc,
    For me it is my son about to graduate, and the other son getting married soon , watching my 2 grandchildren growing up , and embracing each new stage of life .

  • Thank you. I put a link to this article on my blog which is for Artists and Art Lovers. I hope it will help many who are going through rough times. If you’re reading this please spare a thought for artists, who give so generously of their time and work for charity, but no-one seems to remember that when the economy is bad, they are the first to suffer. I have read so many sad Art blogs lately which share how depressed the writer is due to the downturn in their livelihood :)

  • A friend of mine recently passed. I wonder how this article might have changed her mind.

    Thank you for this.

  • Great post for a Monday!

    What makes me feel alive is sunshine, nature, music, art, and writing. I love, love the SUN! It gives me energy, and I feel better when the sun is out. It’s one of the reasons why I chose to live in Arizona. I was outside five to seven days a week, no matter how hot it was. :)

    I give my life meaning!

    My belief is that I (we) co-create our lives with the divine, universal intelligence, God, or whatever name you give to that unseen forces that moves in and out throughout your day, throughout your life.

    It’s up to each one of us to give meaning to our lives. I (we) can’t wait on the sidelines for someone else to do it.

    I don’t know about you, but I take full responsibility for my life. It’s up to me to change or shift my life for the better. It’s up to me to give meaning to my life. What about you?

  • You always have inspiring messages. This one is short, simple yet makes you feel wonderful to be alive, making you realize your self worth. Thanks Marc and Angel.

  • to suman : just as your kids give your life meaning, you also give the same to them. there is so much ahead for you, you will find it inside. live - i am rooting for you

  • I’m still suffering from the loss of my life partner and have just been rejected by a beloved child. Every day I wake up already weary of the day ahead, and when I see your article it does help. What gets me through the day? Honestly, my pets. I live for them now.

  • Thank you for the very powerful article. I live a very emotional life. My first enemy is emotions and I use to live in the past far too often. But I’m growing…

  • helping my son learn and grow gives me the most satisfaction and joy in my life.
    And helping others who want to truly be the best they can be really brings me joy to me as well.

  • I am turning this into a birthday card for my mother, who is turning 75 next month. She is so active with golf and gardening and music, but recently, arthritis has made it more difficult to play the piano, and it makes her sad… and maybe a little scared. Thanks for the good words :)

  • Thank you for your words of wisdom and enlightenment. They are a great way to start each day!

  • Your blogs are wonderful! I look forward to them everyday and when I share them, I know there are many smiles shared! I feel most alive when I can witness the beauty and purity of nature.

    Thank you for sharing your gift of insight with us all.

  • I have suffered from domestic violence since I was young age when I was living at home with my parents, I have suffered abused from my previous marriage for 27 years, and now re-married to another violent partner. I am slowly preparing to leave my abuser. This time, I felt different perhaps it took many years to discover what really is important in my life. Me… I am in a journey of finding myself, it is painful but I believe it is worth ot. As you have mentioned in your article “Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of leaving the rest of your life unlived”.

    My reply to your question is… FINDING Leila - myself - and taking a chance and to start loving myself. I thought I’d let you know that I am grateful for everything you post, because you have helped me a lot. You have given me hope. Thank you very very much Marc and Angel.

  • Helping people and saving their life gives my life a meaning. Thanks.

  • Thanks for a great post. I have been struggling with finding what my “purpose” is at this stage in my life for a while now. Your phrase “The purpose of your life is to live it in full . . .” resonated strongly with me. Rather than focusing on not understanding my purpose, I need to live my life each day as fully as I can.

  • New experiences, meeting new people, learning more and more, laughing with my friends and family, helping others - makes me feel alive

  • Every breath we take is a gift not to be wasted in self-doubt or deprecation. We never know what a day will bring or offer us. Our duty is to be kind to everyone crossing our path and to let life itself to unfold. If you’re down in the dumps, get your mind off of yourself and doing something nice for someone…even if it is just a smile.

  • Thank you - just what I needed this morning! Appreciating the beauty of nature & helping other people gives my life meaning…

  • Inspiring!

  • Wow, incredible piece to start the week. Totally awesome!

  • Knowing everyday is a big step in the right direction in my life and seeing my dreams becoming clearer to me everyday makes life worth living. Thank you for the post.

  • We have hope that there is an end to life as we know it here, followed by a more glorious future than anyone can imagine. We are only given today and where we are today is where we are given the chance to learn and serve. Thank you for well worded guidance; thank you for allowing me to punctuate your thoughts by suggesting that our only way of accessing any wisdom or effectiveness is through the one, eternal God.

  • The Word of God makes me feel alive. Using my camera to capture the beauty of nature, the rainbow before it disappears, the butterfly who chose to fly alongside me on the walk in the woods, the tree that seems to have a smile in its bark, the moss growing on the birch, the foliage in fall, the cloud formations that look like familiar objects, the etc. And always, my loving nephew whose heart is full of love, in spite of so many obstacles in his life, because he reminds me that in spite of all my failures, my relationship with him is of great value, no matter what my failures or successes in life!

  • Struggling with bi-polar disorder and no testosterone has dominated my life for 7 years. Therapy was failing. Personal relationships were drifting. It was not until I reached out in my worst manic phase ever (6 days without any sleep) that help came pouring in. People are not mind readers, you have to request the help no matter what the consequences. There is still some David to salvage in this medical nightmare, larger forces are at work whether I like it or not.

  • Inspired by you!
    April 8th, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I LOVE your posts, Marc and Angel, and often share them with my kids, husband and family. I love the twist on the negative self talk we all go thru from time to time when criticized by others, feeling abandoned or rejected in that others MAY not be worthy of US! Finding those who are worthy and who value our love and love us for exactly who we are is the key…syncing with others who bring out the best in one another. Thank you for all of your wonderfully uplifting and thought provoking posts!

  • My kids, my family & friends, for myself and for helping others - I am driven by these above all else.

  • I was most taken with your Grandmother’s question about whether she mattered or not. I’ve asked that very question of myself. Funny how being middle aged at times makes you feel invisible to some. Off their radar so to speak. I know I do matter - but it is that “self rejection” little voice that pipes in every so often. What younger people need to remember is that we were once young, cool, and fun - just as they are, and that we still are!
    So what really gives my life meaning? My kids. I have the opportunity to give them wisdom and guidance. You really know how much you love them when they make a bad decision and you are faced with a situation that needs your help. That’s a time when you know you have lots to offer. Experience!
    PS - Ben - I’m so glad that you found this awesome inspiring website and that you are HERE!!!

  • Your posts remove all excuses not to excel, and leave us no reason not to use the gifts that God has already given us to become great. Thank you for the reminders.

  • Wow. This was just exactly what I needed today. Thank you. I get so impatient with the process and the cycle; it feels like I’m always at square one. I often accept defeat before ever giving it a real shot. But reading this, combined with reading a 10 year old Journal has reminded me how wise and worthy I am and much I actually have accomplished despite some major setbacks. Thank you for your wise words.

  • What makes me feel most alive is hope. Marc and Angel, you have given this to me and to others. Thank you not only for your powerful posts, but for the platform for me to meet others here by reading their comments. Sometimes I read your replies and go back to every single post to match your comments on them. The first time I saw my name among your replies and read your note I cried for a long time. Like travelling currents of electricity, water, sunlight, sound waves, your words move across space and connect me to hope.

  • Thank you, one of the best I ever read…

  • Looking at the angelic face of my sleeping son, peaceful and dreaming. I want his life to be as full of the beauty I feel in my heart when I see his face. Striving for that makes me feel alive.

  • Once again I humbly offer my appreciation for the difference you make in the lives of so very many people who are lucky enough to have found your website. Regarding item # 4 of today’s post relative to wisdom & its origins within each of us & the ways in which it can manifest in our day-to-day lives, I once discovered a quote which I have never forgotten & regrettably do not know the source but would like to share here, “A wise man not only knows what he knows but he also knows what he doesn’t know”. As we continue from moment to moment thru life’s journey gaining wisdom each step of the way, we should never presume that because we have learned something we know everything.

  • 6 Reasons You Are not Dead:
    1. You have more work to do
    2. People are counting on you…even the ones you have not met yet
    3. Your lifecycle is far from over
    4. You have not seen, done and experienced all you were meant to
    5. Your world is expanding or shrinking based on your mind, only the dead shrink
    6. You have much to give

  • I look forward to your hack life emails and always post them to my facebook wall.

    I was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago–went through surgery, radiation, and chemo treatments within 8 months. I now try to volunteer my time and/or talent (photography) to fundraisers in order to help others deal with life’s setbacks. The positive feedback I receive makes me feel great about myself.

  • My family, my father who is 85 years old, my sisters and brothers, their spouses, my sons, my grandsons, my friends, my nephews and nieces, my job, my home, my helpful colleagues at work, all of them make my everyday great and meaningful… And thanks to you both as well for this wonderful site.

  • Love all of these but especially number 5. That warmed my heart. Thanks guys. This made me feel great.

  • Inspired Reader
    April 8th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Marc,

    Every time I read a new article of yours I feel so inspired by your words of wisdom but, honestly, I think this is my favorite post of yours to date. Your grandmother seemed like such a wonderful person and the life lessons you learned from her are so inspirational. Thank you so much for all of these beautiful posts, they make my day :)

  • 7. I am not finished.

    I know life is always changing and the only control I have is over my own thoughts. I can choose to be miserable or I can choose to be happy, it really is that simple. If I get a little lost I just read one of your beautiful posts to bring me back to center. I choose to be happy & riding my motorcycle is what makes me feel truly alive.

    I just love it! Namaste my friends.

  • Seeing others succeed is really what brings me to life. I’ve seen many people who have been discouraged, depressed, or otherwise down on themselves; a position that I have seen myself in many times before. Helping others to overcome these lies and truly live up to their potential continues to drive and motivate me. Thank you for posting such inspiration articles which leaves my heart and mind at ease each time I exit the site. We are all capable of overcoming our obstacles; we just need to realize that it all starts from within us.

  • I’ve asked this question of others before: “Why are you still alive?” Or “Why are you on Earth?”

    Great things to think about. I just turned 30 and want to write on 30 Years and 30 Life Lessons. This is good stuff to chew on. Thanks!

  • Thank you Marc and Angel for giving me hope and inspiration every time you post something new. Your articles have helped me get through some of the most difficult times of my life and taught me to also let go of certain things. I now know that life is just beginning for me, and the best is yet to come. The fear of God is indeed the beginning of wisdom. May He continue to bless you both.

  • Mary Ann Alliston
    April 8th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    When I am totally overwhelmed with the care of my husband, I stop and think of what he’s gone through (24 years of cancer, several major surgeries, 2 strokes, pneumonia, and facing more radiation and chemo) and how he meets each day with a positive attitude and no complaining. He is my inspiration - always and forever. I know he is approaching the end of his journey, but he’s dancing on the path to get there!

  • @Vincent Nguyen: Yes, anyone can make a difference. Making one person smile can honestly change the world - maybe not the whole world, but their world. Thank you for doing your part, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

    @Ben: Thank you so much for the kind words. I am so glad we could help inspire you and bring some joy to your life again. Life has many up and downs but it truly does get better and better as we grow. We’re all in this together. Stay strong and wonderful! =)

    @Suman: I completely agree with Judy and Don’s comment. You do matter; you’re still alive. It’s great that you find hope through your children but you should also find it in the small moments you experience every day – there is beauty there. And there is still so much life left to live, especially with your children. Please smile.

    @Mark Flynn: I love your analogy. =)

    @Mike Smith: What an incredible story, thank you for sharing! Happy Birthday to your Mom. =)

    @James Mtonga: Confidence and passion together provide the solution. If you have confidence in yourself and passion for your ideas, you will be far more willing to accept calculated risks, take creative chances and thwart off the other stress factors attempting to restrain your creative edge. Because at the end of the day, you know that every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.

    @Rob: I love that you are living the words. Thank you for the feedback. =)

    @Mackenzie: I am so sorry for your loss. Please accept our condolences. We’ve dealt with similar issues in our lives and I can tell you, using the good memories of someone we’ve lost to fuel positive self-growth going forward is what works best.

    @Amandah: Super inspiring, as always.

    @Heather: I am so glad we can help and make your day a little brighter. Play with your pets for us a little longer tonight for us. And remember, life does move forward. It’s hard understand why some things happen, but you honestly only have a choice to make the best of the way things turn out. Please stay strong.

    @Raisa: Congratulations! One step at a time.

    @Cathryn: What a great idea. Happy Birthday to your mother!

    @Leila: You are an extremely strong woman. What gives your life meaning? “FINDING Leila - myself - and taking a chance and to start loving myself.” I don’t think there could be a better answer. Cheers to that! We’re here with you on this journey.

    @Diana: Beautiful words. I can absolutely relate to your love of nature through photography.

    @David Rapp: We believe in you, and honestly you have such a positive attitude. It’s an attitude like yours that allows people to rise above life’s tragic issues. Keep steeping forward. Also, I love your second comment. Great list.

    @Jasmine: Wow, thank you so much for the extremely kind words. We are so happy to be part of your path to hope. Your support and love is appreciated more than you know.

    @Stacey: What a positive impact you are making on so many. You are certainly one of the strong ones. Keep fighting. And thank YOU!

    @Michael: I agree. Helping others is the best gift you can give yourself. =)

    @Mary Ann Alliston: When you look at it the way you are, your husband is a true inspiration to all of us who deal with small struggles on a daily basis. May he continue to inspire the world through you. Thanks for sharing his story with us.

    @All: Again, reading your comments reminds me that we are all in this together. What makes us feel most alive? Connecting with people around the world who struggle with the same issues and celebrate the same joys. This is honestly what makes life worth living.

    Angel and I will check back in later to read more comments. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • My grandmother passed away a week ago today. Her last decade or so was rough: she almost died from bacterial meningitis, and a few years later began suffering from mini-strokes and TIAs, all of which made communicating really tough for her (and my grandma LOVED to talk!).

    She meant a lot to me — I flew 2/3 of the way across the country to be at her funeral. Another mentor said me that I am who I am today because of my grandmother. I treasure them both, and I hope I have my grandmother’s classiness and grace, my mentor’s sense of ineffable calm and ability to distill problems to a workable essence, and my mom’s good looks. :-)

  • I learned something very valuable early in life. Everyday I try to make at least one person feel good about themselves, whether it is a stranger or a dear friend. This makes my life seem worthwhile. A smile, a listening ear, a compliment….. So simple. The smiles in return are like gold! I sometimes underestimate the power of this action. Thank you, Marc and Angel, for your message of continual growth.

  • Just recently I started to find my own reasons to live. For so long, I blamed it on my children, my reason for sticking around, but now I found those reasons in myself and it is so sweet. This blog was just confirmation of my self discovery I’ve found. thank you

  • Tomorrow is my mother-in-law’s 89th birthday. Two years ago she lost her husband of 63 years. I have watched as each day is a struggle for her and I know that she would just rather be dead. She has stopped living and I feel so bad for her. Everyone has tried to help but she has found it too difficult to try. We all try to make her time left as happy as possible. We show her that she is loved and cared for.

    I can’t make her decide to live, but I can choose to learn as much from this experience and I can set my life up in ways that support your concept. To live life and continue the journey—-until I’m dead.

    I will keep these words. They’ll come in handy one day. Thanks.

  • Marc & Angel:

    I just read this; I’ve been traveling. A one thing I know for certain….. my husband of 10 years indirectly killed himself; he’d battled depression for years. I learned you can’t love somebody enough to save them, all you can do is love them well and leave no regrets on the table.

    I’m 48 and have spent the past 3 years regrouping and finding God’s love and hope within myself. I could no longer dwell in the darkness where there is no hope. I had to face the sunshine and learn I still have 100% to give to this life. If I can inspire just 1 person to move forward and embrace a joyous life, Steve’s death was for something, which is LIFE.

    I will see him again someday and share the stories of missing him.

    Have a wonderful week!!
    Margie

  • I love your blog, it gives me hope. Especially in these difficult times, as we remember my loved ones who died in the genocide against the tusti in rwanda, and my aunt, one of the few survivors going through dialysis now. I am alive because i make a difference in the lives of everyone i meet, on the bus, at work, etc…

    You are amazing. Thank you so much for your blog, especially today I needed some positive thoughts.

  • Getting diagnosed with breast cancer in Dec ‘11 at just 30 yrs old was life-changing. After going thru the whole healing process I have come out living life in a whole different way. This year I am stepping out of my box and doing things I never imagined doing. This post epitomizes that. Thank you.

  • Today April 8th on my birthday I got the call that the cancer I have been diagnosed with is inoperable and terminal. 18 months to 2 years the Dr. says. Thank you so much for your articles. They keep me inspired, keep me grounded, and give me a goal for how to live out the remainder of my time. When I feel the self-pity knocking I am so grateful to be able to go through the archives and find just what I need to get through. Thank you for this gift!!

  • When in the depths of depression, words like yours are valuable and uplifting - giving rise to a new perception! Thank you.

  • As Hemingway so profoundly said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
    Ironic that you included this quote. Hemingway took his own life.

  • You two have built such a wonderful and supportive community. Amazing quality in writing and amazing work. I’ll be using a lot of your quotes, making sure to reference your pages.

    Cheers!

  • After reading your blog on “6 reasons” it has given me the courage to get through another day. It’s 1:00AM and I couldn’t sleep… I try to understand why, at 81-years-old, I am still alive because I DON’T feel like I matter to anyone. But I do feel better after reading what you had to say here. Thank you with much appreciation.

  • I will forever be grateful to God for making me to come across your site… Life has not been fair to me in terms of my health, but with the words and encouragement I get from you I work on living a fulfilled and happy life. Blessings.

  • I am so happy I was able to came across to this blog. I will re-read all of the blog entries and comments, I can’t get enough of them.

  • At the zoo! I love animals.

  • I’m so glad I came across this post. My grandmother turned 80 last year and although she doesn’t say it, I think maybe she feels a bit like this. It reminds me that I should do something to make her feel special and help her to remember she still makes a positive difference in all our lives.

  • I collect stones from all the places I went because, it’s the only spaceship I know…
    Thanks

  • Timely article. Thanks Angel :)

  • I have been reading and enjoying your articles for a while now, but this one really had an impact on me. Thank you!

  • Thanks for another great article. Your posts are like energy drink boosts for me through the day!
    I noticed you are not on facebook anymore and I miss you there. Please come back quick.

  • I wrote a blog post about an 84 year old woman I met while walking my dog who was telling me what it was like to be old and invisible, like a piece of furniture. One of my readers posted a link to this article because it had moved her so much. Thanks, Marc!

  • I truly enjoy your blog and there is rarely a post that does not resonate in some way. My wife and I just spent ten days visiting with my 91 year old mother across the Atlantic … so lots of parallels here. She is a joy to be around, a sharp brain and a quick laugh. What a blast … life is good!

  • I find I can still learn something new… but at the cost of forgetting something old. I find it scary just how much of my life I’ve forgotten and the skills I no longer have. I have new skills that have replaced old but I would have preferred to keep the old ones too.

  • @Heather: Your situation is very nearly the same as mine. My cat is my best friend and is a great comfort. Hang in there. Good things will happen. Time heals most wounds. I’m going to make it work for me, and my thoughts will be there willing your life to be better. We both can come out of this better. I promise.

  • Just came across this blog and now I feel happy. Thank you for sharing this wisdom.

  • Thank you both so much for your posts reading through the comments i can see what a huge difference you are making in people’s lives. I love reading your stuff.
    Life itself and the miracle that it is, is what inspires me. I recently lost my dad and through his sickness, and also many years of being a community worker and seeing peoples struggles, has made me grateful for the fact that i wake everyday and have choices and people who love me. Life isn’t always easy but in every situation you can always find something positive even if it’s only a lesson :)

  • Gardening, writing, travel, and enjoying nature & sunshine makes me feel most alive.

    #4 has an editing error.

    “Because nothing is more beautiful and powerful than a soul who has weather(ed) and grown through life’s difficulties.”

    As a writer, it’s much easier catching others’ mistakes, than my own. See? I was paying attention to every single word. That’s how much I love your blog!

  • To achieve the journey that would bring me to a glorious end would be to live in a world that is based on loving others, to never have pain inflicted by harsh words, hate, and cruelty. To have those around you love you for you, realizing that family should be supportive by not putting blame or shame because one struggles and one does not. To have your family love you, miss, and think about you, spending time to recapture the closeness we felt as children.

  • Nice post!!! My mind sometimes says that you are worthless, you can’t do this, etc. I know that all are lies.

    Thank you very much for this reminder.

  • Marc,

    This is a great post!

    I agree that we’re alive today because we still have something worthy to give in this world.

    Perhaps we’re not Bono or Bill Gates with their vast influence and resources, but each one of us can still make the world around us a better place, one person at a time. This may sound morbid, but each one of us is dying. Our time is limited. Why not make the most of what time we have left?

    For me, knowing that I may leave this world any moment makes me want to live my best everyday. I do have bad days every now and then just like everyone else. But everyday I’m alive is a new day.

    I wouldn’t let yesterday’s hurts tarnish the shine off the brand new day I have in front of me.

  • I believe the only reason one is not dead yet is that the purpose of life of that person is yet to be fulfilled. Thanks for the eye-opening article!

  • Thanks for your blog. After reading this, I got more positive insights in my life. So inspiring.

  • Not having a terminal illness.

    Thank you for your encouraging words.

  • Wow… I read you guys ALL THE TIM .and I love what you do. I’ve been comforted a number of times by your posts… but this is the first time I teared up, and I didn’t even have a very good grandma.

  • The fact that I still have a chance to correct my mistakes and bring joy and happiness to those I love (and those who choose to stay even though they realize I am not as good as they thought I was)

  • That’s a wonderful story, it makes me think of my own grandmother, and although worlds apart, I’m sure they each have their own priceless wisdom.

    Wonderful thoughts, and very humbling, too!

  • This is by far the most inspiring post I’ve read on your blog. Thank you guys. This made my day!

  • My heaven on this earth is music and dance. Without this i would feel numb, would feel invinsible and dead. This pulls me through the toughest of times. When i am dancing I feel the presence of God, love the universe. I feel one with everything, that feeling is so powerful, it makes me burst out in tears. I am thankful everyday for my passion. feelings are the language of the soul, so i guess i am in my purest form when dancing. :) inlove with music and dance <3

  • I think it is easy for the elderly to feel like they don’t matter anymore. In their time, they were someone, they were young, they were beautiful, they mattered, they were important, people depended on them, maybe movers and shakers. No one knows or cares now. Too often the elderly are discounted or ignored, no one looks at them or talks to them. Maybe age brings the wisdom that non of that stuff matters anymore, and in the end all you are left with is (hopefully) your family who indeed thinks you matter.

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