(Ecuador) – About year ago when my friend Barbara was visiting, we drove to town once or twice each week, checked internet, bought supplies then returned to my friends’ Rio Cinto property. We opened pages of interest while on the internet and then read them offline when time permitted. In the serene first hours of the morning while sitting on the front deck, I sometimes broke the silence to read something of interest to her, or she read something to me. When I read the following (below), she listened patiently and then stated, “I’d like to have that read at my funeral. Who wrote that?”
“I did,” I smiled, and told her that I’d written it while sick with dengue and chikungunya; though I did not fear I might be dying, these words tumbled out one day as if dictated by a higher source.
Most every time I pondered sharing this, someone died or there was a horrific disaster, and the timing seemed wrong. It seems like the right time, and I look forward to your feedback. Lisa
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.” Kahlil Gibran
Rest in Peace… A tribute opened with those RIP words, and I pondered that saying and quickly morphed to my own obituary and thought, May they say about me, ‘Soar! Fly with the birds! Go see all that you missed! Swirl high on invisible currents with the frigates then swoop into the dense canopies of the jungles and peer where no man has ventured before!’
No, I don’t think I’ll be resting on some idyllic hillock for eternity; look for me in every sunset, every flower that bursts into bloom, and every butterfly that inspects those same flowers.
At birth, we’re given a life. We don’t know how long we’ll have, but we assume we’ll live to be an old age. Life sometimes snatches that long life from the unsuspecting, through illness, accidents, freak acts of nature, war and through horrid crime. Some people think we’re here, we live, we die, end of story. Some think we’re on a multiple-journey and we learn and experience more with each trip; a review after death with ‘the Coach’ – that most likely would not include the question, ‘How much money did you accumulate?’ More likely it would involve a critique of what one did well and what was not done so well, with a possible option to return and evolve into a stronger soul…
Some think we have one life, and we earn that right to rest in peace or to endure eternity in suffering beyond human comprehension. I don’t think there’s a God who would be so unmerciful that one wouldn’t get a chance at redemption, though it’s hard for me to comprehend the truly evil souls that exist among us. Perhaps if I did, I might agree that they should be kept in Hell’s chambers for eternity.
Let’s ponder what others might say about us – no matter if we’ve just walked out the door to go home, or if we’ve taken our last breath of air. When we reflect on our lives, are we proud of our accomplishments, of what we squeezed out of our years?
Will we realize that some of our darkest moments turned out to be catalysts that made us stronger and more compassionate people? Will we regret that we didn’t spend more hours at work, or will we regret that we didn’t try to love and understand our fellow man? Will we regret that we didn’t take time to notice the hungry person, the lonely person or stop to acknowledge the dog or cat or even the canary in the cage?
There are people who seem to care more about the dog or cat or canary than they do their fellow man, but those people probably deserve more love and compassion than the kindest of individuals. We often allow our egos to control the quality of our days – most ‘issues’ are not issues if we remove the ego and ask ourselves, “…Is it kind? Is it necessary?
If not, let it be left unsaid.” -(Maltbie Davenport Babcock)
I also ask myself, “Will this be important tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Next year?”
“Let it go” is often the best choice. If the ego is truly not involved, it’s easy to ‘let it go.’
Will we be proud of the times we replied with impatience, with snappy retorts to someone who bruised our egos or challenged our choices? Like Kahlil Gibran, I have learned to be grateful to life’s unkind teachers, to the people who taught me lessons in negative ways, to the hurdles I’ve cleared and the places I stumbled.
I am grateful to have witnessed those filled with venom and realize they’re striking at any reason to justify their anger, while their true reason for unhappiness lurks deep in the shadows of their soul. It’s easier to blame someone else than to look inward…
I think when I review my life, I’ll want to tour the earth and the stars and the universe, and perhaps I’ll want to return to planet earth, to pick up the ball and resume my interests – or new ones. Maybe I’ll see a planet with colors I’ve never experienced before, and I’ll want to chase the fish that fly through the atmosphere and swim with butterflies beneath the waters. I’ll beg to resume my path, and I’ll ask if I my wisdom can tag along on this trip!
I hope, I pray that when this life is finished, I will return to the sidelines and reflect on the role I played in this game of Life, and my Coach and teammates all say, “You stumbled, you fell, you kept going, you learned, you evolved, you helped others… You did well. Good Game!”