Chasing Daylight, by Gene O’Kelly, is a biographical account of being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor at 53. Gene was the CEO of one of the Nation’s largest accounting firms, and at the top of his game. That all changed when he was told he had less than a year to live. Reading his account of coming to terms with this death sentence was transformative. It taught me that if there’s something important that I want to accomplish in life I must, “Move it up!” I’ve moved up quite a few things in 2010. Leaving Brooklyn and venturing back to the Midwest to be closer to my family being the most important.
Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom, is the true story of Mitch’s relationship with his beloved professor, Morrie Schwartz. Morrie suffered from ALS and during the last few months of his life Mitch met with him once a week for an invaluable course on life and death. This book taught me a lot, but one story in particular spoke to me. Morrie recounts a story he had heard about a small wave seeing the waves ahead of him crash on the shore, disappearing into nothingness. He suddenly brims with fear upon the realization that he too will soon 'crash on the shore' and die. This little wave confides his fear in another wave who comforts him with the news that he will not crash and die, but will instead return to become a small part of the larger ocean.
Both books drove home that life is fleeting. We need to celebrate what we love and appreciate about each other now. I believe if you have something nice to say, say it.
The culmination of these reflections on death pushed me to start “The Happy Reaper.” Each day, or so, I will randomly select a facebook friend (by literally drawing a name out of a hat) and eulogize them on my blog. I’ll throw a few other names in there, too, as some that I love i.e. Noni aren't necessarily chatting it up on fb. I’ve been reluctant to jump on the blog wagon, but I feel that this venue gives me the best way to share my living eulogies.
Death is a topic that many people are uncomfortable with. I’m not trying to make you come to terms with death. I’m just letting you know that in this life you mean a lot to many people, me included.
Why this sudden pull to face my mortality head on? Maybe it’s because unlike Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the many other cursed 27-year-old rock stars I made it to 28. Or maybe it’s just my attempt to better understand life.
Stay tuned, The Happy Reaper is coming for you.
Today's Musical Selection
|Morrie enjoying life to the fullest|