Life and death

Warning: the blog post by Derek that I refer to below can be found here. It’s incredibly sad, so don’t read if you need to be upbeat today :)

A friend sent me a link yesterday to a blog post published earlier this week by a man named Derek K. Miller. It’s entitled “The Last Post” and was published posthumously. Derek died earlier this week from cancer. He was 41. He left a wife and two young daughters behind. I didn’t know Derek. I didn’t know of his existence until he was gone. But reading about his death has caused me to evaluate some things about my own life more carefully.

When you’re young, you have the luxury of carelessness with your time. You assume that you’ll have the time you need to do all you need, and want to do. It feels like your primary challenge is determining what you want out of life. You don’t realize that from the moment you’re born, a clock is ticking and you have the briefest of windows to do whatever you’re going to do.

Life is so short. So incredibly short. Even if you live to be 100, that’s still just a tiny blink of an eye. And we may not have that much time. We all know that on some level, but reading the last blog post written by a relatively normal guy not much older than me drives it home. He was diagnosed in 2007, just four years ago. So short.

Anyway, I’m sure all of this seems cliche, and it is. The tendency to grabble with the truth of our own mortality is probably the most universal trait of humanity. But you should read Derek’s last post. And then think about the fact that someday, probably sooner than you’d like, definitely sooner than those who love you would like, you too will die. This is truth. Regardless of what happens after that (if anything), the universal reality is that you will cease to be a living, breathing human being.

How will you live in the meantime?