My ideal final day (is best lived each day)

My friend’s husband passed away last month, and it got me thinking, as sudden deaths of people I know often do, of how fleeting life’s journey is and what I might like to accomplish right now if today were to be my last.

It’s an exercise I was introduced to on my first year of university. I was attending a recollection, a mini retreat, and our spiritual director instructed us to imagine as if today was to be our final one.

How and with whom would you want to spend it with? What feelings would you express? What words would you utter and to whom? What prayer might you fervently say? How do you imagine you’d go and spend the hypothetical final 24 hours given to you?

Accomplishments in the here and now have their merit and value but, ultimately, material or professional success isn’t even something I would think about if I knew my time was limited.

Never has it been as crystal clear to me how fragile and fleeting life is than in the past two years where I have lost too many people who hold precious spaces in my heart.

I remember in one of my last few conversations with my late father before he passed on over a year ago, we had a particularly moving and heartwarming talk about how he was happy with all the lives his children, daughters and sons-in-law and grandchildren are leading. He half-jokingly said several times that he was ready to go to Allah as he knew all of us are doing okay and will be okay when the time came for him to bid his final farewell.

It has been extremely difficult to put pen to paper since Father’s Day last June, the second such day since Papa passed away. Then in July, my friend’s husband suddenly expired in his sleep. Last week, a former colleague of mine from my broadcasting days passed away, and just five days ago another former co-worker died. Their untimely passing prods me to gently contemplate once again, how I would want to live out each day as if it were my last.

Now that I’m double boosted (my fourth dose of a Covid-19 vaccine completed) and it’s relatively safer to gather in small groups, making a note to self to spend more time with my favorite people and do the things that give me joy.

Perhaps take more nature walks, gaze up in awe and wonder at sunsets and full moons, sing inspiring songs or make time for whatever it is that lifts one’s spirits or renews that zest in life.

One line keeps the reminder simple for everyday living — make time for the people you love and prioritize the activities that give you joy.

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