This is a list. This is a list of things that I have learned from my late husband. Is he late to the party? No. He died.
Never heard the phrase "late husband" or "late wife"? Here you go......
The phrase "my late husband" means, of course, my husband who died recently, or "is lately dead." Late, as an adjective or adverb, can mean "of late" or "lately," and can be used to refer to a variety of situations which were true until lately, but no longer are. "Where late bloomed the lilacs."
So, back to the list. This is a list of things that I have learned from my late husband........after his death. Yes.........after. Death teaches us about life. Loss teaches us about living. But? But only if you're really listening. Only once you've healed a little. Only if you're willing to break open a little bit more. Only if you believe that you can hear your loved one in your heart. Is this his personal list? No. This list is what I have personally learned after putting him into the ground. This is my list to you.......the living who have not yet experienced a death that rocked your world, shattered your life, and broke open your heart.
1. Throw out the phrase "Life is short". Why? Is life short? Do you really know exactly if you will live 5 years or 20 years or 40 years or 100? No. Life is life and the point is to set your fears aside and follow your hearts calling. To live each day with gratitude and purpose. When we tell people to hurry up and do the things they want to do because "Life is short".....we put pressure on them. They feel rushed to hurry up and get shit done. Is this any way to really live? No. Your soul is endless. The shit you don't get done in this life? Don't worry. You'll get it done in the next one.
2. Stop following so many of societies rules. Do you have to turn 18 and go to college? No. Do you have to get married, have babies, a mortgage, and a nice mowed lawn by the time you're 27? No, Do you have to "be someone" by the time you're 35? **laughs** You were born someone. Stop trying to gather up all of these accomplishments, labels, titles, and material possessions to make you feel like you have "made it". You're here on earth aren't you? Then you've made it. Welcome.
3. Learning doesn't end after "school". If you're a grown adult and haven't picked up a book in years? Well? Go pick up a book. Shut off the T.V. and pick up a real book. Words can change your life. Words can open your heart. Stories heal. You don't stop learning and having a need to absorb information......ever.
4. You don't need a religion or a guru or a mentor or a temple to speak to GOD. God is inside of you. God is on the wind, in the trees, and you have the ability to hear the GOD within you anywhere that you are. God is an energy. A verb.....not a noun.
5. Stop worrying and complaining so much about real life stuff. Like what you say? Like washing dishes and laundry. Like kids toys all over your house. Like mowing the lawn. Like grocery shopping. These tasks come with the territory of being alive. Am I wrong? This is the vast difference between feeling blessed and feeling grateful. My husband died and I was flooded by gratefulness. Grateful that my heart beats, that my children are healthy, that we have a roof over our heads, and a warm place to call home. I gladly do all of those chores because it means that I am alive. And being alive means that I still have the chance to swim in the river, follow my dreams, rent an RV and travel the country with my kids, fly to the ocean, and climb a damn mountain. I will wash the dishes every day gladly if it means that I get to one day throw on my hiking boots and climb a mountain, breathe in the mountain air, and have the opportunity to do all of the things my husband never did either because he was too afraid or his time ran out.
That's it. That's the list. Pretty short and simple. Will you live by it? Will you really take this list to heart after today, after reading it and really feel it and do it? Most of you won't. You won't until you've been rocked by death. Maybe that's the point of death. To wake us up to life. To knock on our hearts and say..."Hello! You're alive! Why are you sitting in your living room on a beautiful day watching t.v? Get out into the world."
Death taught me a lot of things. Planning my husbands funeral at the age of 35 taught me what true pain is. But it also taught me that I want to live. That I want to love again. I've been to hell and back and I would risk it all again to have someone to share my life with. Am I that brave? Probably not. I've just always been a rebel at heart. A rebel who believes in love and wants to climb a mountain.