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Feeling Mortal

Woman deep in thoughtFunerals have a way of stopping you up short. I can think of few other events that have such an ability to make one pause and reflect on the important things in life. I’m not one of those who get morbid when someone dies, but I do find myself more contemplative, and more so as I get older. Of course the mere fact of getting older brings the inevitable end of life closer than it seemed when I was in the first third of life feeling very much immortal as most of us do.

During that first part of life, I didn’t attend many funerals, mostly because they were few and far between, or I had no real connection to the person. But over time, more parents of friends or associates passed on and now it seems that I’m seeing more deaths of friends themselves. Over the past week there have been two, plus I learned that the wife of another friend came near to dying. All cancer related.

The passing of the first was somewhat sudden, in that a problem with a sore shoulder ultimately turned out to be cancer that was too far gone to be treated. He died within a couple months of finding out. The second was not at all sudden. Breast cancer diagnosed early and thought to be gone after years of fighting it, came back so fast she died within days.

Neither of these folks were what you might call old, in fact both had families with kids still at home. I suppose that’s what really gets me thinking, and reminds me that perhaps some of the things I’m expending incredible time and energy on should be put on a back burner. Of course, we are all going to die sooner or later, but we tend to expect it to happen at the end of a long full life, after we’ve done all those things we mean to do, but don’t have time for. It’s the anomalies of an early or unexpected death, that make one realize the foolishness of relying even on the certainty of waking up another day.

Someone once said that “life is what happens under our nose, while we’re working so hard getting to the place where we’re ready to enjoy it”. And it is amazingly easy how we get lured away from things with lasting value in the pursuit of any number of distractions. It’s unfortunate that it usually takes something like death and having to take time for funerals to get our attention. But if we heed the wake-up call and remember to start building in time for the truly important things, we’ll discover that we’re actually living with fewer regrets, appreciating the time we have.

About the Author
John Allen writes on a wide variety of topics. Visit his blog at http://www.downsizedlife.blogspot.com to read more or obtain feeds. He can also be reached through his website http://www.j2trading.com which focuses on finding unique gifts.


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