I saw a man on Monday…

I saw a man on Monday…

I saw a man on Monday,
whom I learned on Friday,
had passed away on Wednesday.

True story!

Just this past week on Monday while passing through the locker room of my local fitness club I saw someone I’d had a casual acquaintance with for about a decade.  We exchanged a cursory “howdy” to each other and I thought if the opportunity presented itself I’d try and catch him after my swim to exchange updates about family and work.  Turned out that I didn’t run into him again on my way out and remember later that day remarking to my wife that I’d seen him there, and neither she nor I realizing he was also a member at the same club.

Later that same week on Friday, while meeting with a group of friends I get together with regularly, one of them received a phone call from the son of the very same acquaintance I’d seen at the fitness club Monday.  His son was seeking advice and help because his father had passed away suddenly on Wednesday while riding his bike around the neighborhood, he was 64 years old.

You rarely think that when you see or talk with someone that it may be the last time you ever do.

Mortality is both an expected and yet strangely unexpected part of life.  We all come to the realization at some point in our life that we are not going to live forever.  Throughout a lifetime some are able to deal with that reality better than others.  Some avoid the thought completely with a passion, others become hyper focused and paralyzed with fear and anxiety; across the entire spectrum of humanity, every range of emotional responses and coping mechanisms play out juxtaposed to the inevitability of mortality.

However you find yourself getting along with your mortality the story above did remind me of some important things:

  • Take advantage of the time you have with someone, even if it is just a stolen moment, it is a precious moment, don’t miss the opportunity, it may be the last time you see each other, make it count.
  • Nothing is more important than the time you have left with others:  put down the phone, turn off the TV, tell your boss you have something more important to do, tell your friends and family “Yes, I DO have time!”
  • All the fame, money, and success in the world cannot bring you back from the dead.  Get real, you are more important to the people that know and love you than the lifestyle you represent.  If you sadly don’t find that true in your life and, if things are really that shallow, then maybe it’s time to consider a change!
  • We all know that you can’t take it with you, and yet our lives are full of stuff, both material and immaterial, that occupy our resources and efforts and rob us of quality time with each other.  Do we honestly think that ANYTHING that seems so important and urgent and necessary to us today will matter to us at all the moment we rattle out that last breath of life?  Who and what do you think will be on your mind then?  Maybe that’s what you should be thinking about and focused on now!

Just a thought.

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