I am now several months into my volunteer work with patients in hospice care. I provide touch therapy, yoga and breathing to those facing death. It is by far the most challenging and yet rewarding thing I have ever done. I am outside my comfort zone and I have the honor of being part of one of the most intimate experiences a human being can have. Each time, I am given gifts of wisdom that I choose to take seriously and store in my heart.
1. Finish your business. Those conversations you are avoiding, the person you need to forgive, the list of things that need to be done. Do it. Have the conversations, reach out to those you need to and take care of the important things that need to be completed. It will make the transition much easier.
2. Live now. Imagine for a moment you have just received a 6 month diagnosis. What would you want to do in that time? People to see? Things to do? Why not do it now? Why wait until you are faced with end of the bucket list?
3. Evaluate your relationship with fear and faith. Seeing the eyes of man recently diagnosed with terminal lung and brain cancer taught me that it is important to tap into a source of faith that will comfort you in times of fear. Seek the comfort of some sort of faith to prepare you for the times when fear takes over.
4. Love, happiness and laughter are key. Life is remarkably short. Why spend your days worried and in constant turmoil. Laugh, and laugh a lot. Find joy in the simplest of things and marvel at the brightness that surrounds you today. Love someones fiercely. Say yes to the very thing that your heart is yearning for, even if it means disappointing someone else or having to walk through what some might consider an act of selfishness.
5. Look at who you are, today. They say that you die the way that you live. I know for certain that I want to die in the graceful way I have witnessed—light hearted, peaceful, wondering, and seeking love.