Life Review


As the days of our lives begin to slow dance, many of us have the opportunity to contemplate the meaning of what, who, and how we were during our life on earth…did we do the best we could?  …did we give when needed…were we there for our friends when they needed us…how many smiles did we leave behind when we left a room…did we live our life with passion and meaning?

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Hanging out in a hospital bed isn't a great time

Hanging out in bed doesn't make for a great time for anyone

Becoming as ill as I have over the past 9 months, most of my days are sedentary, and I’m not used to that.  For 50 plus years I was always running not walking.   My mode of getting things done was to speed 100 miles an hour past everyone else (and yes I got quite a few speeding tickets in my time!).

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Now, sitting or laying in bed leaves me with something I didn’t think about before: A time for contemplation.  It’s gotta’ be done, I do believe that.  If we have the opportunity to trip back to the “good old days” and relive some of those happier times, it’s a definite improvement over sitting there blankly watching the latest reality television show.  If you have trash you need to burn (i.e., apologies to make, fences to mend, etc. – now is a wonderful time to do it).  Not everyone gets the chance to make things right with those they have hurt.  Count your blessings if you can do just that one thing!  If I can say, “I’m sorry,” I literally feel the weight come off my heart.   

The hospice workers call all of this “life review.”  That’s a darned good description of what is going on for us.  It’s an opportunity to sift through the past – – memories of first loves, beautiful sunsets, shooting stars on the backdrop of a black moonless night, that fabulous hot stone massage you got somewhere, sitting out by a running creek with a fishing pole and nothing but the rustle of the wind in the trees to keep you company….the list can go on and on and on.   

So, while I’m sifting through my past and memories of events and people who I have loved and some who I hated, I feel a sadness too.  Those are now memories.  It won’t happen again.  I won’t see “that” again.  I am dying and where I go from that point of my last breath, I have no idea.  I can only wonder.   I think highly of this “life review” experience.  It’s a blessing to have the time and mental clarity (what little that I do have between taking the pain medicines and opiates).  Tonight I feel lucky for these moments of memories of the past.

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