I have a dear friend who is dying.
Well, to be honest, we are all dying, sooner or later. But my friend just happens to know that she is ill with a disease that will eventually cause her death. We both know this, but we choose not to talk about it or think about it.
Well, again to be honest, we both think about it all the time. I know I do. I wonder how she feels each day when she gets up. I hope she doesn’t feel sick that day, and I pray for her to miraculously be healed. I don’t think she dwells on this – she certainly doesn’t act like she does – but I wonder what thoughts turn around and around in her head each day. Each moment.
And I feel so sad to know that she won’t always be around. I wonder what it will be like when she is gone. And when I get to that thought I do try not to think about it anymore because I don’t want to imagine this world without her in it.
She has always been a part of my heart. She has been there for me through my growing up, and through the birth of my children, and through the deaths of my parents. She has supported me in big events, during celebrations, through trials, with problems, and most importantly throughout the day-to-day smallness and wonder that constitute what is really important in life.
She understands my thinking. More precisely, she thinks like I do. We see eye to eye on so very many things it is almost scary. And so I know she is deeply pondering what her life has been about and what might be left to come because that’s what I would be thinking of if I were her.
I know there are some things she wants to do while she is still able to. The problem is, there are already some things she can’t do now. This illness has progressed along far enough that it keeps her from doing some of her normal activities, as well as some of the “one time” things she has dreamed of doing during her life.
So I am learning from this that we shouldn’t wait until it is too late to do those “important things.” Because if we do wait, then we might not be able to do them at all. Like the movie “The Bucket List,” and the song, “Live Like You Were Dying,” we all think about what we would do if we knew our days were numbered – how we can best live out our days. Or we should think about that. Because whatever it is on that list, we really should start doing those things right now.
The thing is, as I said before, we ARE all dying, sooner or later. And knowing this makes me ponder, “What should I be doing right now, when I am able, that I won’t regret NOT doing later on?” As well as, “Why am I wasting my time and energy on doing something unimportant and nonproductive?” And so I wonder what should be on my list.
I know one thing. What I want most of all now is to spend time with my dear friend. Now, while we are both able to do so. And I try to find ways to help her cross off some of the things on her list as well.
If this were you (and it is you, and me, sooner or later), how would you invest your time?