"You're no longer a funeral virgin', Nina said to me after her beautiful, young sister-in-law Anna's funeral. The first time I ever heard this phrase was the first time I attended a funeral. Fortunate enough until then to have not had to experience such an occasion.
Fortunate is what I say, although death is as much a part of life as life itself and there is something about celebrating someone's life after they have gone that we still can't be with in the Western world.
In some societies death contributes more to bringing the community and families together than say, weddings. Here they have an attitude to death that seems to be based on love rather than fear. There is an interesting Ted Talk by American anthropologist Kelli Swayze around this that you may like to listen for more on this topic.
Experiencing the funeral and hearing stories about Anna hit home certain facts. I realized what it was to live. It made me think, what if the following wishes of the dying were the very manifesto for the living?
So I have selected 10 such 'wishes' to live life to the fullest:
1) Follow your Dreams
2) Stay connected to friends and family
3) Don't care what anyone thinks but be KIND - to self and others
4) Don't stress the small stuff 5) Relax into life
6) Enjoy NOW
7) Be REAL - What is the point of being anything else
8) Speak the truth
9) Be good to yourself with positive self-talk
10) Weed out bad energy - in people and in situations
Don't sweat the small stuff. When are about to lose something we most prize is the time when we can look back and truly appreciate what we have.
We don't have to wait till it is too late.
Why not start today?
TED Talk, Kelli Swayze http://www.ted.com/talks/kelli_swazey_life_that_doesn_t_end_with_death.html