Everything Stops

In my last post, I said life moves fast and that I’m just trying to keep up; and that still holds true. But sometimes it not only moves fast, it also takes a few swings at you along the way.

There you are scrambling along, doing, fixing, trying, going, being…and it all comes to a screeching halt; because someone you love has died. Suddenly all that stuff, all those things, they just aren’t important, they don’t require your attention; and even if they do, they will have to wait; because, death changes everything.

  

My father-in-law passed away suddenly last month and I’m still trying to process the reality of that event. He was 84 years old, and he could out work a man half his age. The day he died, he had plans to go fishing with a friend. He died “with his boots on” and that’s exactly how he would have wanted it. I think he was ready, he had grown weary of the ways of this world and was ready for his rest; the only problem is, the rest of us weren’t ready to see him go.

Death is shocking, painful and surprisingly educational; it always teaches me something. Sometimes it’s a new lesson, sometimes it’s a lesson I’ve forgotten and suddenly am reminded of. Here are some things I’ve learned/remembered this time:

Make a difference. And make it a good one. Impact one person or a thousand people; connect, love, support and help. Because it’s people that matter and choosing to make a difference can inspire others to make a difference too.

Consider your legacy. As you make this journey, think about what will remain of your life after you’ve gone. How will you be remembered? Will you be missed, thought of with fondness? What do you want your life to say about you?

Enjoy the journey. You only get to do this once; so do those things that excite you. Go on adventures, learn, grow and try new things. Time wasted is time lost, you never get it back; don’t squander it.

Love people not things. Stuff is not important, it’s stuff. You can get more if you lose it. When someone dies, they are gone. There are no replacements for the person who’s journey has ended. Make the most of the time you are given with the people you are given. Love them fiercely.

I miss Dad Underwood. He wasn’t perfect and sometimes I found him difficult to relate to, but I’m sure he could have said the same about me. I learned a lot about life and love from him and I appreciate the lessons.

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