“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
― Mae West
Fifteen years ago, I was lucky enough to witness the humble, elegant, peaceful passing of my 89-year-old grandpa. As I sat quietly in his hospice room alongside my grandma and other family members, his nurse smiled softly and said, “I can see he lived well. People his age often pass just the way they lived.”
And as I drove home that evening, a couple questions kept cycling through my mind…
“Am I living well?”
“What do I want to be able to smile about on the inside when I’m on my deathbed?”
These questions are tough, especially the second one. At the time, I desperately struggled to envision myself on my deathbed—just thinking about it stressed me out. So I simply avoided the question and the healthy soul searching it demanded of me. I distracted myself for a few more years until I found myself back in a hospice room with my 90-year-old grandma (who was the most amazing human being I’ve ever met, by the way).
On the final day of her life, I sat with my grandma for the entire day, in silence, in laughter, in tears, and in awe of a woman who was still smiling and sharing stories despite incredible weakness and pain. Her mind was amazingly strong [Read more…]