One of my favorite movies is “The Hours” featuring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. One of my favorite scenes is when Meryl Streep is so overcome with emotion that she slides down the wall in a heap of tears. I’ve done that. One of my favorite lines in the movie is, “You will never find peace by avoiding life.” For so many years, I tried to do just that.
I thought of another line from the movie today and it was Nicole Kidman explaining that someone had to die in her novel so that everyone else could appreciate life. I had to ask myself, why does it take death to make us appreciate life?
It is a simple fact of life that we are all going to die. Yet, when someone dies it often takes us by surprise. We are often shocked and say things like, “I just saw him” or “I just spoke to her.” There is sadness and then the resolution to live each day like it’s our last.
Inevitably, that resolution doesn’t stick, and we go back to however we were living before. Somehow the death of a loved one shines a light in our eyes to remind us that life is precious. Life is a gift that should not be squandered. The truth is, it shouldn’t take death to make us appreciate life.
I have a “friend” and I put the word in quotes because I’ve known this woman for 14 years and yet we have never met in person. That is the power of the internet and social media. We met in 2005 because we were both bloggers back then and we, and a host of other people, got to know each other through our daily writings. Eventually, we all migrated to Facebook and Instagram and kept up with each other that way. We were born in the same month. She lived on the west coast. Her father passed away not too long ago. She worked in HR and she was an amazing writer. She died last week.
Like many others I was shocked. Like many others I took some time to reflect on life and how fragile it is. We cannot continue to put things off until tomorrow. Tomorrow isn’t promised, my friend. If there is something you want to do – do it. No more excuses. Move forward and reach for that thing that you’ve always wanted. Don’t leave this earth with unfinished business.
Life is a gift and I will appreciate it.