Oct 20, 2017
4 days ago, I got some very sad news; a classmate and colleague of mine passed away unexpectedly just 5 days to her wedding. This elegant doctor was walking along the road and suddenly slumped. She passed away before she made it to the hospital. In a sad turn of events, the scheduled date for her wedding turned out to become the date of her burial. May her soul rest in peace.
Apart from the crushing grief which I feel for the loss, I also had some reflections to do. Death is unpredictable. We know that but we act like we don’t.
Knowing that one can die unexpectedly should not be a source of fear, rather it should inspire mindfulness and help us put things in perspective to determine what’s really important?
“The only people who fear death are those with regrets.” Author Unknown
What do you want to do before you die?
If you would like some recommendations, read on.
1) Keep a Diary – reflect on your thoughts, vision, goals, disappointments and joys. This might be a great treasure for your great grandchildren. This can give them insight into your thoughts and may even be a source of inspiration for them when they face challenges. Of course, you realise it would make no sense to fill such a diary with garbage like grudges you bear or scores you need to settle. If you have nothing to write, start with things you are grateful for. Your grandchildren will marvel when they realise you once didn’t own a mobile phone or email address or that you had rewind cassette tapes manually with a pen.
2) Tell your story – Write a book, do an audio or video, write a blog. Everyone has a story. Each time I meet someone new, I always try to find out a little about them. I often discover an interesting person lurking behind a seemingly uninteresting person. An elderly gentleman on hospital admission has a story about his military experience during World War 2 or even the plumbing business he started as a young man, a widowed middle aged mother has a story of how she single-handedly raised her physically challenged child and the teenager you met in your local park has a story of how she launched her online business in high school. Even the young man with a funny accent has a story of how he risked his life to escape a war torn country or an oppressive regime to arrive in a new country. You have a story too! Let the world hear it….ok, if you don’t feel that way yet, you can make your diary your story.
Take a jump literally – Go bungee jumping or skydiving, parachute, trampoline or just get more active. This has well established physical and mental health benefits.
However, much more than a physical jump, take a leap of faith by taking a calculated risk for once. Maybe you have always dreamt of starting your own business, pursuing a career or furthering your education. The jump might take you to another city or country for professional, educational or business interests. Jumping could even mean getting out of an abusive relationship. You may need to jump before you even know for sure that you are going to land well. Jumping entails leaving your comfort zone. As Nike will say, just do it!
Call family members or friends that you have fallen out with and make up with them. Forgive yourself also. You will achieve more and live a healthier life if you forgive. This doesn’t need further explanation. Just do it!
5) Travel the world
Travel the world.. or at least somewhere new. You might not be able to travel to exotic locations around the world but you may be able to travel every now and then to another city or countryside, for the weekend or for a fortnight.. not on business …just for fun. Pack your bags and get moving! …oh, you’ve got kids? Pack them too or leave them with a neighbour or family member for a weekend. That goes for pets too. They can cope a weekend without you. Trust me. If you can afford traveling around the world, go for it! You may find sites like booking.com and airbnb useful.
6) Complete your formal education
I learnt of a couple who went back to Law school in their 60s after all their children had grown and left home. They had always wanted that. If that’s your dream, dust up the books and go for it!
7) Make a list of your debtors and creditors
Make a list of your debtors and creditors names, amounts and contact details. Your next of kin and lawyer or accountant should know how to get this list in case there is need for that. I have heard ugly incidents of creditors showing up at a person’s demise or even debtors refusing to even acknowledge a debt, much less pay the family of the deceased. Make a list today!
8) Write a will
Don’t be silly. Don’t assume you will live forever or pretend that you can determine when you pass away. If you do will your old worn out shoes to your best friend, they better not hear about it till you pass away! Lol
9) Make peace with God and man
If you believe in God, it’s important to make peace with God and equally important to make peace with man. Consider making peace with people who you have offended or even those whom you deem to have offended you.
10) Schedule your pleasure!
“Every man dies — Not every man really lives.” ~ William Ross
Schedule your pleasure because pain will always schedule itself. Live a little! It’s nice to make a bucket list of fun stuff you would like to do before you kick the bucket and try to do one at a time. Go wild with your imagination while you make this list…how about a visit to space? Picnic on the beaches of Hawaii? Run a marathon? Climb a mountain? Fly a plane? Race a speed boat? Sky diving with your partner? Drive in a racing car? Make your own list 😎
What’s your dream? What’s your priority? What are you waiting for? #BeforeUDie #B4UD #LiveToday #StartNow #Priority #Eternity #KeepHopeAlive #LiveBeyondNow #LiveYourDream
It would be nice to hear from you. Tell me in the comment box below. What you would like to do before you die?
Keep Hope Alive!