mortality; death & dying; getting around to things

topics of this post: mortality; death & dying; getting around to things (don’t worry; I’m OK!)

I just found out that an old school friend of mine had died suddenly of a heart attack back in February. The latest of several people I know who have left their earth bodies recently.

Our society tends to be death-avoidant; we tend to avoid talking about death or even thinking about it until the time is right upon us. But death is a part of life, and I’ve always believed we can live more richly if we are willing to talk about it and prepare for it.

I always say I aspire to live to be 120. There are lots of things that need to be done on this planet, and I really want to be part of the shift that I believe is coming; contribute what peaceful and creative influence I can.

That said, various recent things, such as my physical body feeling some signs of its age (I’m using it! of course it’s going to show signs of wear, right?), and several friends my age crossing over, in some cases very suddenly, got me thinking: What would I do if today were my last day?

Actually I think about that kind of stuff all the time; I always have and it enriches my life. But I have never made a post on social media about it before.

If today were my last day, I would make a Facebook post thanking you all for your unique being, and for our interactions over the years, whether it was in person, or online only, or some mixture.

I do regret the many many times when I have fallen short in kindness, compassion, understanding, and just plain listening. As long as I live and breathe, I will always be striving to do better.

And I would say anyone should feel free to celebrate my life in any way they see fit. If you’re a gin drinker, have a dirty martini or Negroni for me. If you are a beer drinker, have a nice zesty IPA. Definitely eat lots of good food!

Of course I would say thank you to my geographically distant siblings and tell them how much I love them. (We stay in touch and I make a point of expressing my love, so they know that already, but.)

Other than that, I would mostly just have my typical day because that’s what I love. Doing my work; enjoying my house and neighbors; enjoying the beach.

Speaking of death preparations, I want to share something we learned in End-of-Life Doula class yesterday. I think this will be helpful to a lot of people. We learned that apparently a living will, Five Wishes document, etc., is not the legally binding document that we think it is. A doctor can override the wishes that we have expressed to our family members and friends, regarding what medical interventions we want or don’t want should we become incapacitated and unable to speak for ourselves. In order to avoid having our wishes overridden, family members need to get the doctor to sign a POLST form. That’s my public service announcement for today. Here’s one website I found helpful regarding POLST forms:

I would invite my local friends to a big party at some friendly outdoor venue like Main Street Station or Beaches. And I would say thank you all it’s been a great life.

If I knew I had a month rather than just a day, then added to all of the above would be that I would do my best to finish at least one of my current books in progress. I feel like I really owe the world more than I have put out so far. Feels like I have been harboring energy and resources for some big project. Actually, I would even do this if I had one day left: I would at least try to finish enough of a segment of the book that people might enjoy it.

My creative ancestors, who worked so hard just to survive, will be seriously vexed if I don’t finish at least one more book before I leave this physical incarnation.

All of that said, I still aspire to live to be 120. But we can all go anytime, so I want to be prepared just in case. I love you guys!!

How about you? What would you want to be sure and get around to if you knew you only had a little time left?

Stealing my friend Tonya R’s status because it adds visual appeal and it fits well with this topic.