Today our family is grieving the death and celebrating the life of an amazing family member. He taught us the value of living our best. His passing has reminded me of the many life lessons I’ve learned from sitting at the bedside of individuals in their last hours of life on earth. Here’s five of the many I would like to share with you:
- Reaching out to God changes how life and death is experienced. Because. We perceive and navigate every experience, including death, with love, faith, hope, and peace when we choose to make the journey with God. A connection with God has nothing to do with following legalistic, religious precepts but an ongoing relationship of love.
- Praying changes the way life is viewed and lived. Prayer is the way we communicate with God; it’s not a religious obligation. Connecting with God through prayer produces a closeness with God . . . giving insight to the matters of life . . . and the wisdom and strength to live our best through love. Prayer is life-sustaining to our soul as breathing is to our body.
- Focusing on what matters changes the course of daily living. The frustrating, irritating, maddening stuff of life means nothing in the last hours. So. At some point, there needs to be a decision to let go of what does not ultimately matter. The choice to focus on the matter of God’s love . . . rather than circumstances, problems, and downright hard things . . . releases the power of the pressure and stress of the stuff. No. It’s not always easy to do. But. It changes how the day is lived.
- Choosing love rather than condemnation changes the dynamics of the energy and ability to make a difference. Condemnation hurts. Condemnation harms. Condemnation takes us to a dead-end. Love heals. Love wins. Love takes us to an open door.
- Refusing to waste time changes how time is used even in the last hour. The things that waste time have no meaning at the end of life. I’ve sat beside people of all ages in their last hours of life . . . while some have had said they are ready to move on . . . no one has ever told me they have had enough time. It’s nothing new but must be reviewed: Wasting time is wasting life.
Our best hours are the hours we love. Even . . . in our last hours . . . love matters.