Life and Death
My birthday. It was a day filled with just about everything. Coaching calls. Sales calls. Birthday calls. Emails. Songs. Facebook messages. New podcast launch. Food. Flowers. Kids. Allan. On top of all that, Allan and I spent about 40 minutes packing for a trip to New York City for continued celebration.
8 AM – Taxi picks us up to bring us to the airport.
10 AM – Our flight departs on time.
11:15 AM – We land.
11:30 AM – Allan turns his phone back on to find six missed calls from his cousin.
11:40 AM – In an NYC cab, Allan manages to reach a family member who lets us know that Uncle Jack has passed away.
It was a shock. It was completely unexpected. He wasn’t sick. He had coffee with his wife in the morning and then went to play tennis with a friend. He suffered a massive heart attack and died right there on the tennis court.
Life one moment. Death the next. And that’s how it goes.
The funeral was extraordinary. It was a packed house with standing room only. Uncle Jack’s kids and grandkids regaled the crowd of around 800 people with stories of his character, his personality, and his unique view of the world. They loved him, they cherished him, and they all called him their hero.
There was one theme in particular that was shared over and over. He was an incredible listener. He had the ability to give people his undivided attention and he made them feel special.
Life and death both leave indelible marks.
This particular life and death had me reflecting on my own life and death, asking myself questions that many people are not always comfortable asking…
1) What do I want my funeral to be like?
I want it to be a celebration of my life, not a mourning of my passing. Here are the funeral instructions I leave behind for my kids: wear comfortable clothes, play great music (fun music, not sad music), tell good stories, make people laugh, and make sure there is great food.
2) What do I want my life to be like?
I want it to be filled with love. I want people to know that I care about them and feel that they are important to me. I want to live my life focused on what’s good and right and enjoy my moments ─ even the ones that are seemingly not so extraordinary. I want to explore, experiment, and try things ─ all kinds of things ─ even if I fail. I want to stretch. I want to grow. I want to learn. And… I want to live with energy and passion.
Think about your life and your death… what do you want them to be like? I’d love for you to share your vision with me. Send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org