This past week, I went to a Celebration of Life for a woman (let’s call her Helen) I loved and admired. She is the mother of a lifelong friend, and I posted one of her delightful stories on my website. The service was beautiful, and for the first time in a long time, I thought the eulogy accurately portrayed the woman I’d known nearly my entire life. Death can heroize a person, but Helen lived and earned her honorable tributes. She was the true definition of real and transparent.
I’m not trying to preach, but Helen’s story, plus the scripture lines, “… A time to be born, and a time to die …,” reinforced the value of truly living every day. There is a time for everything, and Helen trusted and lived an abundant life. She was connected to people, lived her faith, hugged strong, and laughed deep. I felt lucky for the opportunity to know her and to enjoy her services.
A few days after Helen’s funeral, I learned an ex brother-in-law died from injuries in an auto accident. Again, memories flooded, and my logical brain recalled, “… A time to be born and a time to die …,” It is a powerful message, and comforting to think we don’t have to worry about when or how we die, yet disturbing because I believe my choices dictate my odds for a long, healthy life.
For example, I can order a cherry pie à la mode after a five-course dinner, thinking it doesn’t matter how I feed my body because when it is my time, it is my time. Or, I can increase my odds by using my God-given brain and choose more wisely.
In the end, I do believe there is a time to be born and a time to die. If we fully live, as Helen did, life and death are both celebrations. Whatever higher power one aligns with, I would guess we can all agree that we might as well make wise choices, but recognize our limitations and embrace life as it greets us.
We don’t hunt for lessons in life; they show-up uninvited. Helen, at eighteen, would never have guessed she would live to be ninety-four, and my ex brother-in-law, as he drove down a country road, would never have thought it was his final day behind the wheel.
There is a time to be born and a time to die.
Until that time, live while you live.
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