Have you ever seen the Pixar movie Coco? The characters in the film celebrate and remember their family members who have passed during their Dia de Los Muertos celebrations. They put their loved ones’ photos on “the ofrenda” and speak of them, their lives, and their happy times together.
This week, I was able to celebrate the death of someone close to me. And, yes, I do mean celebrate. This person lived to be the ripe old age of 93, and she had done everything in her life that she had ever wanted to do. She had a large family and a loving husband. She traveled. She loved to cook and have dinner parties. She had a personality that would light up a room when she walked in. Everyone I knew absolutely loved her and her vivacious spirit.
At the memorial celebration, no one was in mourning. Honestly, this was the case. But how could one possibly be sad when the person that died truly lived while they were alive?
This was a bit shocking to me until I stopped and thought about why one would be sad at a funeral. Did the person die young? Were they needed by their family? Were they right in the middle of a life changing project? Were they making a personal change for the better?
And then it hit me. I need to live like I’m dying. Yes, I’m young, but I don’t want anyone to mourn me when I die. I want people to say that I made every day special—that I took advantage of all that life had to offer me.
Yes, I am a bit broken-hearted that I am not going to see my special person again. She was amazing and treated me so well. However, I’m only sad for me, for my loss. But I don’t mourn her. She knew that it was her time to go, and she was ready. As she liked to playfully say, there was nothing left on her “to-do list.”
So, starting today, we should all live life to its fullest. Don’t dawdle. Don’t procrastinate. Be the person you want to be, or at least try to. Don’t overdo it, but try to make a small, positive change each week.
And try to find the loopholes to getting what you want. If you have a desire to travel but don’t have a lot of money, go to countries where the dollar gets you further. Want to attend a specific university but don’t have the GPA for it? Find a major in a department that many don’t apply to, and your chances of being accepted will be much higher. Want a job at a prestigious company? Be willing to take an unpaid internship for a while until you can get your foot in the door. And most importantly, send your message out to the universe. You never know what connections your friends and family might have if you don’t ask.
Do what life is calling you to do, so that when death comes knocking, your family and friends will be happy to celebrate you.