The front leg was shaved. A spirit swab was applied. The needle went in smoothly into the vein. Snowy, the 15-year-old Retriever did not flinch. The sedative given to her earlier had taken effect and she was just resting with her guardian, Stella. The overdose of anesthetic slowly circulated her body. Brave tears were streaming down her guardian’s eyes. She could smell her doggy ears that were so familiar to her. Snowy looked at her guardian for the last time and her eyes glazed over. The solution had taken effect. Her heart stopped beating and the euthanasia was complete.
Stella was recounting to me how she saw Snowy being born so many summers ago. They spent many years and went on countless walks together. They had fun sharing moments in health and sickness. Stella knew the end was near when Snowy was slowing down and not doing what she normally did. In the end, she had to make the decision to allow her to cross the rainbow bridge.
With the arrival of each beautiful morning you experience, you grow closer to your end. With every single day that we live, we take one step closer to our final day. How do you live your life? You are not guaranteed a lifespan of any fixed amount. It is easy to presume that life will go on for some time, especially when you are young. It is too easy to say, “No worries, I will do that later. I have got time. No rush.” The reality is that you simply do not know when your last day would be.
It can be beyond your control, expectations, and understanding. Life can be whimsical. Life can be fragile. How you choose to live each day is important. There is not a ‘trial period’ where you are preparing for living. There are no rehearsals for life. This is it.
How are you living your life? Are you balancing living like there is no tomorrow with behaving like you’ll live forever? Are you allowing yourself to grow into a better version of yourself? Or are you taking it easy, thinking you have figured life out and now just cruising? Many people die at the age of twenty and only get buried when they pass away. Their last breath is merely a formality.
It can be very easy to cruise through life and to merely exist instead of truly living. You wake up, brush your teeth, go to work, eat food, have a chat with your family and/or friends, sleep, and repeat the events the next day. This happens daily. Before you know it, a week is gone, a month is gone, a year is gone and just in a flash, you look back and wonder how did time pass you by like that?
There are some that will say, “When such and such happens, life will be good.” Or “When I have this or that, I can then get on with life.” Unfortunately, it does not work like that. Life is happening every moment you take a breath. John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.” I am not implying that you have to pack your life with so many activities as you may die at any time. Not at all. I am merely asking if you know why you are living and also to remind you of the fragility of life. We all come with an expiration date and we do not know when it is. Are you living in a way that if you should die now, you can clearly and definitively say, “It is ok. I have lived my life the best way I could. I have given myself as much as I could. I have done what I want to do as fully as I can. I am ready to go.” What would you say or think and how would you feel if you were told that you had only one month to live? Would there be peace and a sense of fulfillment? Or would there be regrets and the ‘could-have-been’s, ‘should-have-been’s or ‘what-if’s?
Keep the shortness of life at the forefront of your focus. Live your life purposefully. The gift of life is precious. It is a miracle that you are created and can breathe. Be sure you propagate your genius and share your life with the world. The magic in you is so stupendous that it should be exposed and celebrated.
Snowy had a full life full of meaningful memories with her guardian, Stella. What are you going to feel at your end?
‘When we are born, we are crying while the world rejoices. We should live our lives in such a way that when we die, the world cries while we are rejoicing.’ – Robin Sharma