We All Die…
While it may sound slightly morbid to lead with the heading “We All Die,” we all know this to be true. I’m a big believer in a lifestyle that promotes health and long life but no matter what we do there will eventually come a time when we will no longer be alive on this earth.
There are things almost everybody agrees on when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. It helps us to eat well, it helps us to sleep well, it helps us to exercise regularly. We know these things. Few of us do these things. We often need help and motivation to do them.
But even if we do all these things we all die at some point. A healthy lifestyle reduces the chances of early death but it does not eliminate them. We can do everything, or most things, right – that are in our healthy best interest, and still die earlier than we’d hoped.
We could get hit by the proverbial bus or we might have a body that, despite our best efforts, is challenged in a way that does not lend itself to longevity. I recently read a report that children who have survived cancer have several times the normal risk of developing cancer again. In fact, children who survive cancer generally die younger than the average age of mortality.
As someone who had cancer when he was 13 (and again at 39) this idea is particularly sobering. What I believe is that my healthy lifestyle choices will help me increase the odds of a longer and healthier life, but I know there is no guarantee. That guarantee may be especially true for people like me but it is true for most of us. Most of us are unprepared for death, an event we know will come, though the specific time and place is often unknown.
While it is hard on the person who dies, it is also difficult for the people who remain. To make it easier on those people who loved and cared for us, I hope you’ll consider immediately doing the following things:
Make or update a will: We all know we should have a will. Make sure you do and make sure your wishes are explicitly known to others. Make sure your companion animals are cared for. Support your causes. My suggestion would be to use an attorney for this but there are also websites and books that will help you get things in order.
Create an Advanced Care Directive: This may be called a medical power of attorney but get this done so people know how you want your end of life issues handled. Do you want to be resuscitated? Do you want every possible thing done in an attempt to keep you alive? Leaving these questions open is not only irresponsible, I might go so far as to say it is selfish. It takes little time, little cost, so just get it done. Relying on others to make these decisions and hope they get it right puts a huge burden on those left behind. This website may be helpful.
Make a List of Passwords: We are all connected to everything these days via passwords. Our bank accounts, our credit cards, our mortgages, email, social media, etc. etc…If you leave this life suddenly and those left behind do not know about or have access to your accounts it will be more difficult to get these things in order.
Finally, make sure your beneficiary information is up to date. You should be able to make sure retirement, medical or insurance policies go to who you want especially if these wishes are different than what the state would do in your place.
We do not, I do not, like to talk about that time when we will no longer be here. Yet, we all die. I hope you will get good rest, exercise often and eat in a way that truly nourishes you. But I also hope you will get your house in order. Your loved ones will thank you.
This website may also be of help. Anyone want to guess at the website’s acronym?
Until next time, I’m…
Wishing you well,
Rev. Russell Elleven, DMin, BCC, CWP is a Board Certified Coach and Certified Wellness Practitioner. He helps individuals obtain health and wellbeing through his coaching practice The Minister of Health, LLC and through congregational work as the executive director of The Genesis 1:29 Project.
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