I’ve always believed that the quality of your answers is in direct proportion to the quality of questions you ask. So…what is the question that is being asked? How to increase the odds of living longer? How to increase the odds of being happy for as long as you are alive? These are very different questions and will lead to very different decisions based upon what question you are asking. This week has had me pondering this topic, sadly, more than usual.
I’m sure by now you have all heard the story of the woman from Oregon, Brittany Maynard who chose to end her life this week, due to a terminal brain tumor. This story has brought about incredible debate over whether or not someone should have the right to end their own life. There are plenty of discussions about that issue, so I am not adding to it here. This blog is about the decision on how we choose to live.
This topic hit me most deeply when last week one of my dearest friends, Michelle Garcia, lost her brother to a motorcycle accident. For the week prior to his passing, he lie in a coma with his family by his side, having to contemplate the unthinkable. “Although he is physically here, he is no longer living,” the doctors reported after reviewing several rounds of tests and MRI’s.
Maybe that’s the question that Brittany and Michelle’s brother Darwin would have us ask, “How can I increase the odds that when it is my time to go, I can look back and know that I lived a life I loved, and never took one day of it for granted?” If that is in fact the question we pose at the beginning of every day, I wonder how different our day would look. I also believe they would both advise that we don’t wait until that New Year’s Resolution or even until tomorrow, before doing what makes us happy. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who feel physically here, but aren’t truly living. The stark reality is, all we have is this moment right now. Maybe this is best summarized by the wise words of another dear friend, Deirdre Mammano, “I want to have an obituary that is inspiring to anyone who reads it – to live their life to the fullest. I want my life to leave that legacy.”
As you go about your day today, consider the final words written by Brittany Maynard-
“The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”
The full story can be found here: http://www.people.com/article/brittany-maynard-died-terminal-brain-cancer
Michelle Garcia’s blog about dealing with sorrow and loss: http://michellegarciawellness.com/meditation-during-the-bad-times/
In honor of Brittany and Darwin and anyone whom you may have lost, live your life to the fullest today. Do what matters most and don’t take a moment of this day for granted.
With my deepest condolences to all those who have suffered the loss of loved one…in their honor, make your life have meaning.