Purposeful Pondering: I’m Dying — But Not to Worry

What a way to start off an article — "I'm dying but not to worry."  Well, it's because as I approach my 60th Birthday I have noticed a new relationship evolving to life and to death.

It started when I heard this past week that Dom DeLuise had died at the age of 75, and for the first time, I counted up the difference between his age and mine. And even though I'm not the greatest at math, it only took me a few minutes to figure out the difference was only 15 years.
And that's when it hit me.  I'm dying.  And so are you, and so is the rest of the world.  The moment we come into this life, with each moment we come closer to our death.  Of course, we don't relate to it like that for much of our life.

I shared with my 17-year old daughter, Amber, my 'first' of counting the difference between Dom's age at death and my current age.  She looked at me like I was from planet Mars, which really is OK.  After all, she's 17, and while there's no guarantee that she'll live for many more decades the odds are in her favor.  Much more in her favor of living another 50, 60, or more years than in my favor that I'll live that much longer.

So, I'm dying, and not to worry.  I'm not worried.  I'm finding I like this new relationship to life and death. I'm so much more appreciative of every minute of the day, even the minutes when something isn't going along with my preferences.  Even those moments are deeply appreciated because they prove to me that I'm still alive even while also being aware that I'm dying.

Now, you might ask what does this have to do with living a life on purpose.  Well, a lot.  Because living a life on purpose is all about enhancing our time here on planet Earth.  While it's not about alleviating all suffering, it is about minimizing the suffering by eliminating that portion which is unnecessary, which I believe is a large portion.

Is There Suffering On Purpose – Maybe So
For example, when my mother died about 14 years ago, I moaned her loss for several days, and then to a lesser degree for a few weeks. Truth be told, I wouldn't want to eliminate that process of grieving and letting go.  Again, it helped me to appreciate my life that much more.

One of the most tender moments of my life was the morning I learned the news of my mom's death and I had to inform Amber, who was not quite 3-years old.  I remember the exact room we were in as I bent down to her level and held her on my knee.  I remember, tearing up and struggling with the words, and her small arms surrounding my neck and her soft voice saying, "It's OK, Daddy. It'll be OK."  And how surprised I was that it was she who comforted me instead of the other way around.

No, I wouldn't want to eliminate any of those moments from my memory.

But then there's all the unnecessary worry, struggle and fearful thinking that doesn't add one iota to the quality of our life.  And when I'm present to the fact that I'm dying…that my life here on this physical plane is temporary and fleeting, it puts all that 'stuff' in perspective. Like the book that was so popular a few years ago, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff — and It's All Small Stuff." 

So, living a life on purpose is about living life so at the end of it, you can look back with a minimum of regret, knowing that you lived a life that was true to your core values, to your vision for what's possible, and true to the essence of who you really are.

It's about knowing that you were the best you you could be, and that you did the best you could, and that your presence in life contributed in some way to the overall life on Earth.  So, let's all celebrate our lives as we draw nearer to whatever is next.

Your Turn
What are your thoughts about all this living and dying stuff?  Why not share your thoughts with me and with other purposeful people right here. Share your comments.