Without the element of demise, we never learn to live.”
My dad would’ve been 84 today. The arrival of this day used to evoke considerable grief and unrest within me. I felt wronged and cheated out of a father, and resented the lack of closure…that opportunity to say goodbye.
Somewhere over the years, I found my peace with his death. Perhaps, it was the uncanny string of gifts that seemed to arise immediately…gifts that would’ve been inconceivable in his life…. gifts that helped me evolve and emerge from my personal shadows. Or, the growing sense of his presence in my life with guidance to go this way and not that, the sense of connection to a divine power within and all around me…and, above all, the lessons I learned equally from his life as well as from his demise.
1. Laugh. Surround yourself with people who enjoy your good humor and sharing a laugh with you.
2. Be of service. Work for love. Love your work. Be visible. Do your admin work later.
3. Be a history buff. Keep learning, especially from history.
4. Prioritize savings over spending. Being in debt is more stressful than the luxury it can ever buy.
5. Don’t internalize your stress or frustration. Find healthy ways to release toxins from your body and, especially, from your heart.
6. Have the courage to walk away from the people or places that no longer serve you.
7. Be a devoted sports fan. Get emotionally involved and root against the enemy (the Yankees, Lakers, and Jets).
8. Study the map. Before any trip or disembarkation, plot out the journey.
9. Get quiet and pray. Find space to be alone, such as on the golf course or in your office.
10. Be on time for the things you love… f#ck the rest.
The greatest homage we can pay the dearly departed is learning from their life as well as from their demise. There are always lessons in the darkness that teach us to live, shine, and love as we were meant to.