Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Passing of a Friend

A good friend of mine passed away this week. She was just in her mid-50’s -- too young to go so soon. She had died of a heart attack after complaining of “flu-like” symptoms. How does that happen? Death is a difficult concept to grasp. I received an email from her just last week; we had made plans to get together when I drive through Portland next month. Three days later, Kathy was gone.

In an effort to reconnect, I went to her Facebook profile and left a brief note of farewell. As word has begun to spread of her passing, moving tributes from family and friends have quickly posted for all to read. The reoccurring thread communicates shock and disbelief that someone so warm and vibrant can now be gone. We see it on the news everyday, but until it hits someone close to us we take for granted that it won’t happen to us or those we love. I’ve had enough encounters with death now that it’s beginning to sink in.

I can’t help but think that this subject ties back to my last blog post, where I asked “how many chances do we get to live our best life” before it’s all taken away. This is just another wake-up call that life is fragile and passes by very quickly.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a negative person or someone who looks for the depressing side of life. But a healthy dose of reality can be a good thing. My thought at this point is that I have a responsibility to myself to wake up and smell the coffee. With that comes making every day count for something I value. To look for the good in others, to use my gifts in a way that will help the planet and those around me, to pursue my dreams until my last breath, to make my health a priority, and to find the joy in living every single day. My personal commitment is to come to the end with no regrets.

Isn’t that all we can expect of ourselves? Putting it into action becomes our challenge.

Make it a good day!

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