In the past two weeks I’ve heard from a fellow writer who lost one of her dear friends who was a wife and mother of two teens, a co-worker from a previous job whose dad passed away, and a recent acquaintance whose son succumbed to an illness.
The grief is deep in those families, and I pray the regrets are few.
Losses such as these may cause you to pause as I did and consider the state of your life.
As my eyes swept over the panorama of where my husband and I have been and are now, I couldn’t help but think of Tim McGraw’s poignant ballad Live Like You Were Dying.
If you are not familiar with the song, it tells an inspiring tale of a man’s response to his terminal medical diagnosis.
The award winning writers behind the lyrics, Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols, shared the seeds of the song in an interview.
They had been hearing from friends about health scares large and small, real and faulty, and how the bad news stopped people in their tracks.
The duo began to think “What a cool concept (it would be) to respond to those circumstances not in a ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m going to get busy dying, but I’m going to get busy living.'”
Hence the birth of the song and an encouraging message of love, gratitude and forgiveness that can blossom from the rockiest soil.
The beauty of that message is this:
You don’t have to experience a health scare to be the kind of parent, spouse, or friend you always hoped you’d be, to live the life you had dreamed.
It doesn’t mean you walk away from your family or responsibilities to find what’s been missing.
Instead, you move toward the people in your life, your hands and heart open, to love deeper, speak sweeter, and give the forgiveness you’ve been denying, living like you are dying.
As Leo Babuata wrote:
While you might not have only 6 months to live, I’m here to break the news to you: you really do only have a short time to live. Whether that’s 6 months, 6 years or 60 … it’s but the blink of an eye.
The life you have left is a gift. Cherish it. Enjoy it now, to the fullest. Do what matters, now.
Question: What is one thing you would do if you were living like you are dying?
I’m hoping you are encouraged by Tim McGraw’s video below of Living Like You Are Dying. Lyrics are here.