Wednesday, December 4, 2013

13w6d: Freud Well Said The Goal of All Life is Death - The Circle of Life Upon Us All

There will come a time 
                    when you believe 
                                      everything is finished.
                                                                               That will be the beginning.

                                                                                                       -- author unknown

Mom and baby are doing just fine.
We got another round of blood work results today that everything is on track and progressing quite smoothly. The baby is even a week ahead of growth schedule so hopefully he takes a chill pill and realizes that it's all about the journey and not the destination!

Now, if I can get the wife to eat more protein, I'd be happy as a.......pig.
Yes, she and baby need lotsa protein. Both for all the changes her body is going through but also for the baby's development and for the strength of the baby's lifeline - the placenta.

I say this because one of the "symptoms" of mommy to be is that she is turning "fruitatarian" on me. All she wants to eat is fruit, oh yeah and the occasional bean and cheese burrito. And how can I forget her beloved Cheetos.

But seriously...

I don't know if it's the current journey we are on that has heightening awareness to the lens I see life through, but there is a definite change.

A metamorphosis of sorts is well underway.

This is accelerated by the fact that as of late, the circle of life has been manifesting itself around those in our lives through births, ailments, and deaths. I may venture to say in an inordinate frequency. Here's what has been going on over the past few weeks:

  1. A grammar school friend was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 
  2. An LA friend was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease
  3. Two friends gave birth to their babies this week
  4. Another friend is due today or tomorrow
  5. Numerous high profile people have passed, including today the founder of a childhood favorite, King Taco at 71
  6. The passing of a dear friend, ex boss, and colleague of over 15 years
  7. A scare with Mom's health
  8. And today, our morning started with the news that a special person in our lives was hospitalized with potential cancer.

The latter has me a bit shaken up. Turns out he had lost a lot of weight recently coupled with several late night drenched-in-sweat bouts. We had been nagging him to see a doctor, but like most, stubbornly would oblige to quiet our nagging but wouldn't follow through.

Last night strong sharp pains at 1am forced him to be hospitalized. We are awaiting the liver biopsy and again, staying positive for an uneventful outcome. Some of the symptoms and facts about the doctor's perspective though are keeping me on guard. 

This circle of life awareness phase has made me reflect on a powerful story I read yesterday about regrets of things not done in life while on one's deathbed. 

I'd like to share that story here as it's quite relevant to numerous conversations I've had with "the wife" (term of endearment if you are wondering) many a times. I've expressed to her that I do not ever want to live life with regrets. I am who I am without excuses. I live life through my lens and with passion. As such, I've turned off many whom have crossed my life's path along the way for my overt personality or boisterous opinionated perspective on just about anything. I've been coached many a times to "dial things down a notch" but that is not how I am wired. It's back to a principle tenet of mine to live life without regret. I shared with my life partner that I want us to be 77 years old (yes the seven's again) in a retirement home porch somewhere on our rockers holding hands and reminiscing about our life without having had any woulda coulda shoulda moments. I'm glad that to date I've been loyal to my outlook in life. No regrets. 

That is why this story is so powerful to me. I hope you can take a couple nuggets of wisdom from it as well.

It was written by Bronnie Ware and published 11/27 on true activist website.

Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
Credits: This article first appeared on via @ Real Farmacy

Tonight, I say a prayer for that special person and ask you include him in yours...


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