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The Dignity of One More Day

February 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 160

"Don't be dismayed at goodbyes, a farewell is necessary before you can meet again and meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."

~ Richard Bach

On Mother's Day, May 8 2005, my best friend of 15 years unexpectedly passed away from a coronary embolism; she was 42. I wish we could have had... just one more day.

The last time I saw my best friend was April 14, I stopped by to see her at her job and we talked like we always did- about health, kids, men, jobs, and how we were going to spend some quality time together. When it was time to leave, I hugged her and told her I loved her, and that I would see her later. As I was leaving, I suddenly stopped and went back; I remembered I wanted to take her picture to put in my new cell phone contacts. I told her, "Hey, I almost forgot, let me take your picture with my new cell phone, so when you call your picture will come up on my screen." Usually, she's shy and uncooperative about having her picture taken, but this particular day, she didn't protest and stood right in front of me with the biggest smile! Before leaving, I hugged her once again and told her I loved her and that I would see her later. I did see her... three weeks "later" at her funeral and again I told her I loved her. I didn't know as I walked out the door that day at her work that it was the last time I would see her alive. I still wished I had just one more day to tell her how I felt about our friendship.

Nine days before she died, I talked with her on the phone about a short trip to San Antonio I was taking for my 40th birthday. Before we hung up, I told her I would call her on Monday and tell her all about it. I never did. I was too busy with work deadlines and I never talked to her again. Through my friend's death, I've learned that life is short- but wait, shouldn't I have already known that? Haven't I heard that a hundred times? Yes, I have. I had heard that life is short (a hundred or more times), but it never really registers in your head until someone's life is shortened that you're close to. Me and my friend should have had another twenty years together, at least! But it finally registered how short fifteen years was, how short nine days was, and how short her life was. My grandmother wrote me a letter after my friend's death and said something I'd like to share with you, she said, "Death is like a thief in the night, we have to be ready to meet our maker at any time." I felt like a life was shortened before their journey was completed. It didn't seem right that people can't live for at least a hundred years to teach, learn, and experience everything life has to offer. So, if death is a thief in the night, are we ready to leave this world at any given moment?

Since my friend's death, I've learned that our legacy will be based on how positively we've affected others in our own lifetime. Although I've had epiphanies before and have studied famous life philosophers; my friend's passing made me realize my own philosophies more profoundly. Edgar Morin, a french philosopher once said, "Death is a source of drama, interrogations, grief and revolt. The anguish of death hangs over and leads the human spirit to wonder about the mysteries of existence, man's destiny, life, the world."

Although it's been hard to write this article, her legacy is impactful even in the smallest of memories. I can picture her now, sitting at her dining room table reading, along with her favorite bowl of vegetable beef soup and diet soda (my favorite lunch, too). We often discussed through the years how our lives always seemed to reflect and coincide with one another... like kindred spirits. Our lives often intertwined, when something would happen in her life, without intention, the same would happen in mine... too many times to count. After her death, I wondered how our lives would intertwine now... would I die now, too? It's a wake up call to lose someone so close to your own age, especially a best friend. This was my first experience. I'm sure many of you have experienced the death of a close friend and can relate to the emotions one goes through in the aftermath.

Things have been too quiet since she's passed- it's hard. I miss our long phone conversations; we could always just pick up right where we left off. I find myself thinking about all the funny things she used to do; how she loved to eat artichoke hearts and black olives (I'd always give her my olives), the burnt ends of the meatloaf we'd fight over at the buffet, her love of music, white magnolias, yellow roses, puzzles and coffee, and the time she stood up in my car, stuck her head out of the sun roof while we drove down the beach singing and laughing, and how she loved angels and kept them all around her. I think about a lot of memories, big and small; and things I wish I could say to her today, if I only had just one more day. I often think about the last words I told her, "I'll see you later." I know there will be another "later," another day to tell her everything I want to say, another day to pick up right where we left off.

For now, as a person who is still on this earth continuing a journey, I've learned that what matters most from here on out, till the end of my lifetime, is the positive difference I can make in the lives of other people. My own legacy that will be passed on down for many generations to come. All of the stories from my own life, my teachings, values, morals, laughter, character, and life philosophies. None of that dies when our body dies. It didn't die with my friend! She left behind a profound impact on many lives. Have you ever heard the saying, "Keeping their Spirit alive!" Our Spirit does live on! The Spirit of a deceased loved one only stays dormant when you refuse to rejoice and honor their life. Everyone grieves in their own way and time. And, that is respected. But, at some point, a person who cannot move on with their own life is not honoring the life and legacy lived by the deceased. To stay dormant, is to keep the Spirit of your deceased loved one dormant. And in all essence, it is a selfish act to keep their Spirit latent. They are worthy of a Spirit that continues to soar through you and within you. The person who has passed deserves the dignity of one more day.

The focus and sustaining factor in our journey is our Faith, God's grace, our positive outlook and the positivity we surround ourselves with. What will be there with us at the end of our life is our family, friends, and the positive impact we made on others. But first, it is up to us how we will live the rest of our journey. What impact will you leave on those closest to you? What if we had just one more day to live or change our life accordingly? How would you leave a legacy of positivity? Edgar Morin, said, "The certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour of death is a source of grief throughout life. The conscience of death accompanies us since childhood, as conscience of the absolute destruction of the only precious treasure of ours: our I."

The day I walked out of my best friend's work, I never dreamt it would be the last time I would see her alive. And, that photo I took (a simple photo for my cell phone), it was the last known photo taken of her alive and also used in her funeral. I never dreamt it would be the last photo of her life. We all know that death is imminent. My friend lived her life to the fullest, and although her life was short, she left an impact not only on myself, but on many people. And, through this article, she continues to leave an impressionable hope to have just one more day in your own life or with your own loved ones that is impactful. For the life of me, every time I see a black olive, I think of her... and I still don't like black olives! My best friend will always remain in my heart and as long as I honor her life and Spirit and do something constructive with my life, we will still be intertwined and kindred Spirits.

"You and I will meet again, when we're least expecting it. One day in some far off place, I will recognize your face, I won't say goodbye my friend, for you and I will meet again." ~ Tom Petty

Deanne P. Wells is the owner and Editor of the South Texas Women's World Magazine, a life coach, speaker, and author. She has published several self-improvement and motivational articles on life empowering topics. She assists women in business and personal to provide insight, structure, and encouragement in reaching their full potential.

Contact her for a complimentary coaching session:

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Source: EzineArticles
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Kindred Spirits


Life Philosophies


Deceased Loved








Grief Loss



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