Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Matters to You?

Penobscot Bay Sunrise

Today's post was inspired by my friend Lois from Ohio and by Amanda's favorite illustrator, Gris Grimly. That probably sounds like an odd combination of folks that one would get blog-post inspiration from but they both wrote about almost the same thing on the same day - Lois in her post A Memory and Gris Grimly in a status update on Facebook. I can't help but think that Lois and Gris were on the same wavelength yesterday even if she was in Ohio getting ready for her furniture to arrive at her new apartment while Gris was over in California working on some monstrously wonderful illustration.

Lois wrote about the death of her father three years ago and how his passing changed her outlook on life:
"From this moment on, I adopted a what would you do on your deathbed philosophy. You don't think about work, stuff, etc. You think about love, family, and moving on to the next step of life ... eternal life in God's hands. The next time you're angry at the driver ahead of you or something like that, think about it. Would it be your worry on your deathbed? When it's all said and done, does it really matter?"
Meanwhile over on Facebook, Gris Grimly wrote:
"Thinking about what is important in life. When all is over and you are lying on your deathbed, what matters to you?"
These are really good things for a person to contemplate even if one doesn't like to think about one's own mortality.  Death and dying is as much a part of the Circle of Life as being born and living is but people seem to want to shy away from that.  I guess that to a certain extent I can't say that I blame them as there's always the fear of the great unknown but I think my own fear wouldn't come from the adventure awaiting me so much as the fear of missing something as I left the rest of the adventure here on earth behind.

Still, we all go sometime - some with regrets that they hadn't done all that they wanted to do and others who have no regrets and are ready to meet their maker -  like my grandfather who said he had lived a good full life,  saw all of his children grown and settled, and was ready to go.  I'm pretty sure that as he saw his life slipping away he wasn't having any regrets or worries but was looking forward to his reward in the kingdom of heaven as well as perhaps seeing his wife and other loved ones who had gone on before him again.

After giving it some thought, my answer to Gris' question as to what matters to me was:
"Knowing that I did my best in giving my children encouragement and strength to pursue their own dreams; that I was the best friend that I could be to others; and that I was true to myself in the process."
I hope that when I pass on, I'll be able to look back and know that I accomplished those things and that I can rest easy on the other side.  How about you? What would matter to you before you have "slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings ..."?


  1. Anonymous6:20 AM EST

    great post. I do know that I have so much to do before I die. I would love too see all of my children grown and happy (however they define that).

    Beautiful post, Linda.

  2. We were both touch by Lois' post yesterday, for different reasons.

    As I don't have any children, leave out the first part of your answer and it could be mine.

    Big hugs :]

  3. i like to make a difference wherever possible. i have done many many things that i wanted to do in life and yes i have regrets but i think i'll just go forward with what i have left trying to make a difference...

    smiles, bee

  4. Great post Linda.

    I'm happy that I have lived my life to the full, never knowingly hurt anyone, done my best for my family and been a good friend.

  5. I loved Lois' post from yesterday. I think all those that visit her site gave pause. I know I did.

    I guess I just want to remember that I did my best in everything I did. That I was honest and forthright about things. That I loved and was loved. That my son is happy and healthy. That my grandchildren and great grandchildren are thriving. Probably what most everyone else wants to remember.

    Have a terrific day Linda. Big hug. :)

  6. I missed that post, but will go take care of that:)

    Hmmm, I want to be remembered as a loving wife and mother/grandmother/friend, and one who tried to leave sunshine, humor and honesty in her path.

    Nice post. Big hugs, honey...

  7. Good things to want to be remembered by. :)

    When I pass I hope that I'll have made a difference . . . somehow . . . somewhere . . . for someone.

  8. I've often thought of death, especially after my dad passed away at such a young age, and now that I'm older than he was when he died, I realize how much of life he's missed. I don't feel like I've even begun to live fully...I just hope God gives me time to do so:-) When my time does come, I will be comforted by the fact that I've been the best mom, daughter, friend, etc, that I could be. xoxo

  9. It's a good philosophy. We control our attitude. Stuff does happen every day and we deal with it in the way that works best for us. And some of it happens in a split second, so we deal with it within our mind's framework at that split second.

    I think I approach it this way...I'm going to do the stuff I do daily, and react to things daily, in the best way that I can within that moment that requires me to do and deal. It will be my attitude after the fact that helps me put that particular moment in perspective with all the other moments that make up my life.

  10. My answer is really to answer a different question. I use to worry myself crazy about dying and then in crazy times. I think to myself, would I really want to do all this forever? My answer is No... I don't want to do this living forever. Yeah there are good times, bad times.. all that... but when it's my time, it's my time. Having been so close to it recently 2 months ago lying on my death bed. The thing that got me more than anything was my children. I really didn't think about my life at all, just their's and how this would be so traumatizing for them. I love them and my grandchildren dearly and want only the best for them and I don't want them to hurt... So basically I really didn't care about what I had done or what I would miss... it was just them, and only them...

  11. Okay, first of all, I'm going over to Lois' post; secondly, I'm still crying over what our Callie wrote. She is so incredibly honest about everything.
    ~~~As for me, all I know is, God willing, I just want to be ready.

  12. Anonymous5:28 AM EST

    I'm glad that I helped inspire this post. I see so many people struggling and working themselves over "stuff" that when it's all said and done, is really minor.

    Big hugs to you... I'm honored to be in such company.

  13. "For now we see through a glass,darkly; but then face to face: now I know in Part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

    "You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life? For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
    "In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity."

  14. I hope that when I die the world is a better place for Hope to live her life in
    and I hope she knows how to be part of a better world and contribute to it


Thanks for visiting!