When the Reality of Death Hits You...

…small things no longer seem to matter.

…pride or ego doesn’t matter.

…even how you want to be remembered doesn’t matter.

Credit where credit is due. I read these two wonderful stories about the reality of death being a defining moment from Chris Guillebeau’s “The Happiness of Pursuit” and they really touched me.

Diagnosed with terminal melanoma and given one year to live in 1981, Phoebe Snetsinger turned her hobby of seeing and documenting bird species or "birding" into her lifelong quest instead of receiving treatment. Immediately after being diagnosed, she booked a trip to Alaska to pursue her passion. She continued birding all over the world until her death in 1999. At the time of her death, she had seen more bird species than anyone else in history.

American Adam Warner met Canadian Meghan Baker in Seoul, South Korea in 2007. A year after, Meghan was diagnosed with cancer. In the same year, they moved back to their respective homes in Washington and in Ontario. In 2009, Adam moved to Detroit to be as close to Meghan as possible. In 2010, they got married. Just a month after, Meghan passed away. Afterwards, Adam took over Meghan’s dreams and made them his own dreams. Right now, he is still on the road fulfilling Meghan’s long list of dreams—and fulfilling his own.

When faced with death, nothing else really matters.

It will only be about two things:

  1. Did you live your life in every sense of the word? Have you done what you set out to do?
  2. Did you love? Have you expressed your love to the people who matter most to you?

The moment you understand that you too, not others, will one day pass away, that’s the moment you realize that you have to do the things you set out to do right now. And more importantly, that’s the moment you realize that you have to love now.

Are you doing the things you love now? Are you expressing your love to the people closest to you now? If not now, when? Tomorrow might never come. We just never know.