My "Tedlike" Talk on "Living Fully"
Updated: May 3, 2021
So, I’d like you to IMAGINE … there is a bank that every morning deposits $86,400 dollars into your account. And every day it happens over and over again. THE ONLY CATCH … is that you cannot save that particular deposit into the next day. The $86,400 dollars you get in the morning is GONE by the evening! You can’t use any of it in advance and you can’t pile it up.
What would you do? Would you think carefully about how you’d use the money every day?
The thing is we all have this account available to us; EXCEPT it is TIME. Time we get to use. We all have 86,400 seconds to spend every day and at the end of the day, they’re GONE!
Think about having this account with a limited time deposit every day. Does it make you think about living differently?
You can’t live in the future; you cannot live in the past. You GET to live in the present. Using the seconds available to you right now!
What is my point? Death! Yes, death. The thing that happens to every single one of us, yet those words uttered from our lips are so softly spoken, in a whisper (shhhh...) as if it were secret. Just like birth doulas charter life into this world, I charter life to the Next Place.
It All Started
It all started with a promise I made to my brother, Bobby that he would not die alone after accepting the enormous responsibility to be not only his advocate, but also his health care proxy. The long flight home from Phoenix, AZ to Albany, NY is one I will never forget. I had a big decision to make. My brother's health declined drastically and he was unresponsive. When I walked into his hospital room, he opened his eyes, we chatted briefly and said, "I love you" to each other. I was hopeful that he'd come around. Shortly thereafter, he went into a coma. It was time; his time.
I was sitting bedside holding his hand when he took his last breath surrounded by family and the women he loved profoundly. Holding vigil for my brother was an extraordinarily beautiful experience that I will always cherish. Robert Michael Cook was one of the best men I knew and loved so deeply. He is in large part the reason I am an End of Life Doula. As an End of Life Doula, I am a soul companion, who lovingly and open-heartedly supports the dying through living fully in the present; using the seconds available to them right now! I help people to live their best life through their end of life. Giving them the gift of a meaningful, peaceful and glorious passing.
If Today Was Your Last Day
One of my favorite Nickelback songs is “If Today Was Your Last Day”. The lyrics read …
My best friend gave me the best advice He said each day's a gift and not a given right Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind And try to take the path less traveled by That first step you take is the longest stride
If today was your last day And tomorrow was too late Could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last? Leave old pictures in the past Donate every dime you have?
Against the grain should be a way of life What's worth the prize is always worth the fight Every second counts 'cause there's no second try So live like you'll never live it twice Don't take the free ride in your own life
Would you call old friends you never see? Reminisce old memories Would you forgive your enemies? Would you find that one you're dreamin' of? Swear up and down to God above That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart? You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars Regardless of who you are So do whatever it takes Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life Let nothin' stand in your way
Cause the hands of time are never on your side
What I Do
Now that I shared with you one of my favorite songs, let me tell you a little about what I do. As a trained and certified EOLD, I started out as an eleventh hour companion with hospice. Today, I have a small private practice called The Luminous Soul. I provide consultations and support on the benefits and limitations of continuing treatments, when to engage hospice and other palliative care services, vigil planning & support, after death care and memorial planning, life exploration and meaning, legacy projects to leave behind for loved ones, and preparing my clients and their families for transition.
In closing, I’m on a mission to change the world, to help people see death as a beginning and not an end. To live fully in present with the time available to them right now. Death is not about dying, it's about living.
How will you use your 86, 400 seconds?