A Life Well Lived

I saw a man die today. With that moment comes a need to reflect on your own life and to pause and ask yourself if you’re living the life you want. Are you living what you would consider to be a ‘life well lived?’

While working on new articles and assorted projects, I looked up to see outside my window.  A fire truck arrived at the house across the street for probably the fourth or fifth time in the last couple of weeks.  Although I’m not one to watch the accident victims on the side of the road or engage in any activity that watches other people be in misery, it was happening right outside my window and I had genuine concern for a neighbor.  It wasn’t a car accident or some tragic event, although it’s tragic enough, it was a neighbor. Although I did not know him well, we’d say hello as we walked by or waved as he drove past.

The fire truck arrived without their siren on so I had no idea they were there. After noticing the sound of the idling engine, I looked out to see the fire truck and the firemen performing CPR on him on the sidewalk. I can only assume he fell and that is where they found him. The heroic men continued to attempt to revive him for what felt like an eternity, but ultimately their efforts proved futile. That’s where it ended, on a street corner in front of a home in a small little residential area.  Just that quickly.  One moment you’re calling 911 because someone is ill and the next you have to come to grips with the fact that you will never see them again. Your life is changed irreparably and forever.

I know I didn’t know him, but my life was changed in that moment. I’ve lost people I’ve loved deeply and the pain, although it’s been years, is right here next to me.

I think of how young they died and how many things they never got to experience. The man across the street was elderly and many might say, ‘he had a great life.’ I hope they’re right. I hope we can all say that when the time comes.

I watched as the family stood on the corner and sobbed together.  The paramedics, defeated from their life-saving efforts, picked up the man and put him in the ambulance to take him away.

While looking on, I wondered how my own life would come to an end. I pondered whether or not I was living the life that I wanted, in front of me was a slap in the face reminder to live. Breathe in all the good moments, embrace the bad, embrace everything.  Become the person you want to be, become a person that’s happy.  So that when the day arrives like this one, you’re ready.  Of course, I’m not sure any of us are ever really ready but I’d like to think I will be.

After feeling devastated and crying for a person I didn’t even know, I needed to feel better. I turned on some happy music and danced around my living room, trying desperately to lift my spirits. Dance like nobody’s watching, isn’t that the saying? I was determined to embrace this moment and enjoy it. I’m sure the man across the street would come down and tell me, and everyone, to live, enjoy every day, love deeply and dance. Next, I think I’ll plan my newest adventure. I hope there are many more to come.


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