Mortality

There are few things in life of which you can be certain. The tax man catching up with you is one. Death is another. Whilst, as a child growing up in the 80’s watching the television series Fame, I may have thought I was going to live forever, there are some things that happen in life that make you acutely aware of your own mortality – and that life really is short.

Two years ago my Uncle Andrew died. He was my fathers younger brother and the last of his siblings left. It was at his funeral that something dawned on me. We, my siblings and I were the oldest generation born Barbers. That was a huge reality check. Having another generation above us provided a safety cushion – which had now been removed. On that side of the family we have 3 cousins – this week it’s the funeral of the youngest of them, Matthew. He was just 50 years old. That’s no age at all.

It’s fair to say that we have no idea when our last breath is coming or what is round the next corner. Back in January my best friend tried to rescue a drowning man in Costa Rica. Earlier this year one friend lost her husband after a short battle with cancer. Another friend lost his battle with the big C earlier this week. Turn the clock back 3 months, 6 months – there was no hint that what was to come would happen – but still it did. Whilst plans may have been made for the future – the universe had other ideas.

This song by Garth Brooks is simply beautiful. I’ve loved it since the first time I heard it (ok – Michael Ball was singing it at the time and that may have swayed things). I think it has the most beautiful sentiment – to tell that person that you love them. To make sure that you are open and honest about your feelings, your emotions. Because if tomorrow doesn’t come wouldn’t you much rather they knew than were left wondering? I embrace this – I regularly send my best friend messages to remind him how special and important he is to me. Not because I think he needs reminding – but because I want there to be no question in his mind as to what he is to me. Sometimes I am fishing for him to say something back to me (I am female – it’s what we do!) – but not always.

Life is far too short – so what are you waiting for? Why are you saving that outfit for a special occasion – wear it today. Why are you putting off something until tomorrow – why not do it today? Grab life by the horns and just do it. Today is special. Today is a gift. Tomorrow is a promise but not guaranteed.

Invitation: I wonder what you’re saving for a special occasion? Remember that today is special.

If you feel moved to take this invitation, I invite you to share what you are noticing below.

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