THE TRUTH ABOUT DEATH
I’ve struggled all week to write this post.
I’ve drafted and redrafted it. I’ve tried to find just the right voice, just the right balance to speak to my emotions, maintain eloquence, and provide some quality content for you guys.
But I can’t do it.
It’s Friday now, and I’ve given up. A new week will soon be upon us. So I’m just going to be direct.
I got a call from my mother last Saturday morning that my grandmother wasn’t going to last the weekend.
It took me some time to process it.
Although I felt the tug to go back to my hometown to see her, I felt a lot of mental resistance. Anyone who’s familiar with my grandmother and her past eight years of defying expectations from doctors and relatives about her impending doom has learned to question her sincerity about dying. My grandmother was “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” when it came to death – she got bad, we prepared for it, and then – she stabilized. It would have been frustrating if we didn’t want her to stay so badly.
But if she misled us into thinking she was dying, she wasn’t a liar. Far from it. She was incredibly, viciously, honest. She said what she thought, no tactful cushioning or mincing of words, even if it created enemies for her. Even if those enemies were people who were assigned to take care of her. She didn’t care – she tolerated no disrespect. All the doctors who thought they had the rest of her days down to a tee were the real ones blowing smoke. She never said that she was going to die. And that was all that mattered. If you told her it was about to happen, well, you were just going to have to put up with her for a couple more months.
My grandmother was defiant.
But I knew this time was different. So I listened to my intuition, ignored my rationalizations, and booked a roundtrip ticket to see her, even though I knew I’d only have a little more than an hour to spend with her.
I came in, gave my grandmother a kiss, told her how much I loved her and how much I was going to miss her, and sat down next to my mom.
Turns out I wasn’t going to have the full hour.
Fifteen minutes later she died.
My grandmother’s death was sad. Losing someone who took care of you from your earliest of days and who taught you strength and self-reliance is never an easy thing. Experiencing someone leave this world and take their last breath in front of you is powerful and difficult. And seeing your mother – one of the strongest women you know – cry in your arms is something you never forget.
But is it tragic?
Death is only tragic when the person hasn’t really lived.
It’s why we’re devastated when we lose a child.
It’s why it’s brutal when someone dies when you know they’re on the path to greatness.
And it’s also why some people are terrified when they leave this world while others, like my grandmom, are at peace.
The people in the first two categories haven’t had the chance to realize their full potential. They were taken before their time.
But the people in third category?
They could be 80, 90, 100. Their issue is not having lived “long” enough.
It’s not having lived freely enough.
Not playing full out enough.
Not taking adventures enough.
Not challenging themselves enough.
Not acting through fear enough.
Not risking leaving their comfort zone enough.
And most importantly, not saying fuck you to the world and society’s expectations of them enough.
My grandmom did not have that problem. She left an abusive husband after he beat so badly she miscarried, at a time in this country when women divorcing their husbands was unconscionable. Afterwords she worked three jobs, cheerfully bucking stereotypes to make sure my mom was always provided for and got an outstanding education.
She refused to allow the world to tell her what she was supposed to be. She lived life on her own terms. The last years of her life, when she was immobile and dependent, were an aberration, and she hated it. She was a free soul. And when she died on that beautiful spring afternoon, finally, she was liberated once again.
There was nothing tragic about my grandmother’s death.
But when that day comes for you, my dear reader, will you be able to say the same?
It could be tomorrow. It could be in a few decades. I don’t know and neither do you.
But I do know you need to stop making excuses.
Trust me, I don’t care about them. I’ve heard them all before.
You’re unsatisfied with what you’ve been doing and where your life has been going, but…
You want a girl who’s attractive and brings joy and excitement to your life, but…
You know you need to stop behavior that’s ruining your life and your career, but…
But you just need a little more time before the moment is perfect to make a move. Or you just need to know a little bit more, need to get that “one technique” that will show you what you need to do. Or you want me or some other goo-roo to do it all for you.
Well guess what:
All your buts are full of shit. Pun intended.
Hacks won’t solve your problems. Information won’t solve your problems. I won’t solve your problems.
And time certainly won’t solve your problem. The clock is ticking. Death is waiting.
Only you taking action will.
While you’re not doing it other people are. And they’re moving past you.
I have a client who in the past three weeks has realized he’s hated his job and has now set up the plans to leave it by this summer and start his own adventure company. I have a client who in the past two weeks has started talking to girls after years of not even being able to say hello. I have a client who after years of being completely dependent on others for approval is now saying no to people and asserting his independence. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
These guys are taking action.
And they are transforming.
Because here’s the thing people:
The reality you want is only a few choices away.
And all these excuses you’re making are made up about why you can’t do it?
They’re made up too.
The only thing that isn’t made up is that you’re alive today.
And that you might not be tomorrow.
But stop making excuses.
Death doesn’t care about them.
Tick tock, tick tock.
Love you all,