Bucket Lists

‘Everyone dies but not everyone lives,’ to paraphrase Braveheart.  None of us is promised tomorrow so the trick is to live every day as if it is your last.  We all know that. For the most part I try to live it.  I consciously take time to appreciate the love and joy in my life, to forgive others, to learn something new, and to see the colors of the world.  I really do drop everything and run out to check for rainbows.  But for many there comes the day when you hear the words, “You are dying, there is nothing we can do.”  Then there is life after the death sentence.  Which is better do you think?  Is it to die suddenly without fear, but without preparation or to have days, weeks, months, even years of dying by inches and moments?  I used to want to just drop dead suddenly, without warning.  Now I want the opportunity to look my sister and my daughter in the eyes and tell them I love them 47 skinzillion and eleven, that they are precious and beautiful to me, and that I have treasured their love everyday.  I want to hold their hands in mine till the very last second.  But I digress.  What should we do in the face of death, “How, then, shall we live?  Below is a link to the Daily Mail Article written by Helen Fawkes. She is 41 years old and her ovarian cancer came back, again.  It is a wonderful article full of joy and determination.  She watched the sun rise over the Stonehenge! How great is that.  Her list is filled with fun, exciting, and frivolous things to do–from drawing off beers to buying a home.  I highly recommend the read.  See Dawn at Stonehenge .  Then there is Scent of a Woman.  A Korean drama with English subtitles, it is one of my all time top ten favorite movies.  It has several great actors in it.  As some of you know, Korean movies deal with life issues and personal growth.  Scent of a Woman tells a similar story.  A young single woman is told she has less than a year. How does one prepare to die and how to live until then?  Her bucket list includes fun and excitement, as well as making amends, saying what needs to be said, and helping those who know and love her to deal with the reality as well.  I find it especially intriguing to think that the last thing you can do for those you love is help them say goodbye.  To digress, what do you do with the whole denial/acceptance thing?  Can you gallantly fight for hope and a longer time while at the same time accepting reality enough to prepare and to live the time that is left?  Scent of a Woman entwines the two.  Very thought provoking.  I understand some to say that continuing the fight gives the strength to keep on living “toward the end” while hoping for a bit more.  Would I be up for that?  Could I be fully invested in living while fully accepting dying?  It seems to pull in opposite directions, but the image of living toward the end while seeking to press on a bit farther does make sense.  So what would be on my bucket list?  I was thinking this should conclude with the circle back to no one is guaranteed tomorrow so make the list and begin living as if it is the last, celebrate each day….but then my list would include saying those hard things—I am sorry, I forgive you, I love you….  Some of that is really hard to say.  Should it be on the list and acted on?  Maybe I could put them way down the list so that it is found just in case I am not given the time.  Another thing, when death is eminent there is less pressure to save money.  It seems bucket lists entail consuming prior savings…but I suppose the illness makes continuing to earn a living hard. That might balance out.  So what to put on the list?  What does “truly living” mean to me?  How, then, shall I live?  I would start with seeing the whales, going with my daughter to Jeju Island, and….paying for the car behind me, taking my Mom to lunch—with pie for desert!  I want to sort out my own junk, see every sunrise and sunset, oh–I would love to see the Northern Lights. I want to learn to speak Chinese, private investigation, and personal property appraisal. There are just so many things to do, people to meet, and books to read.  Let us commence. LIVE ON!

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