14 October 2009

The Last Day

(Reprinted from a journal from c. 2002. Also reprinted at my mysticangelhealing.net blog.)

What would you do if you learned that today was your last day to live? What exactly would you do? When I asked myself this question, I wasn't surprised to hear the answers I gave. What surprised me was the thought that followed the answers.

I thought about the people who live far from me, whom I love dearly. I know I would need to call each of them to say "goodbye." Would there be any words left unspoken? I can't speak for them, but I can say that I haven't left much unsaid over the years. I'm one of those people who says, "I love you" rather frequently--in person, in letters, in actions. I want the people in my life to know that I love them. I don't love them all equally. I don't love them all the same way, but I do love them, and I think it's important to let them know that. While I couldn't very well call everyone I know individually, I would call those closest to me. For those less close, I would write a letter or an email to let them know that I was thinking about them too in my final moments.

I know I would need to say goodbye to my pets. Cuddle them one last time and assure them that I had been blessed by their presence in my life, and that I would meet them again on the other side. Then I thought that I would want to spend some time out in nature, walking along the shore or in the forest. Probably on the shore, if it were the very last walk I'd take. I know who I'd want to spend those last hours with, the one whose soul resonates most closely with mine. We would spend hours, walking and sitting by the shore, talking about everything or lapsing into silence when talking wasn't enough or was too much.

I thought about how this day would feel, how powerful and poignant it would be. Even if nothing is said and nothing is done, I would want to know that it was a day well spent, not cleaning the house, mowing the yard, or washing the dishes, however important those tasks may be in the day-to-day scheme of things. I thought about how rich all the colors would seem, how the smell of the ocean would be more enveloping, the sound of the waves more centering. I thought about how little I would need to say to everyone. My final words would probably be, "I'm not afraid, so you don't have to be afraid or sad for me. If you are afraid or sad, then be those things, but only for yourself."

I could feel the intense nature of this day inside my chest as I thought about it. It caused a quiet sort of hush inside my body and mind, rather like the silence between two waves crashing on the shore. That is when the words came to me, "Live each day with that kind of intensity." That is true awareness. That is true living. It is so much more than being alive. When you reach the other side, all our existence will be lived on that level of intense awareness.

Beth Mitchum is the author of five novels, one collection of poetry, and one music CD. Her works are available at Amazon.com through the following link:


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