Last Day on Earth
Last March, as the danger of COVID became known, Sai Maa (my Guru) reached out multiple times within a week to remind us all to get our affairs in order. Write your last will and testament, create your living will, decide on your funeral plans, arrange an executor and, in my case, arrange the disposition of your animals.
This nudging was uncomfortable. The repetition felt prescient and scary. At the time folks were dying in New York City at an alarming rate, trailers were parked in the streets to house the dead, the hospitals were overflowing and my charge was to prepare for my death.
I did review my final plans and, in the doing, felt prepared and more comfortable with my own demise. With a bit of distance on the subject, it has opened up interesting inquiries. And with the quiet of sequester, the opportunity to contemplate them.
There is a question that has recently been rolling around in my mind. If you had just one day left on this earth, how would you spend it? What is most important to you? The excellent news is that, for the most part, my life reflects much of what I would choose.
I live each day in joy and gratitude. What a blessing it is to have the support of my friends, my Guru, and my family. My friends and I check in with one another often and I know them to be there if I need. My son is there for me whenever I ask. I have a teacher in my life who has time to counsel me when her mission is global.
I have my work that I love. Not only do I discover and learn each day, I am able to give something back to my community in the process. And I am grateful for the amazing folks who help me to create BerkshireStyle each week.
As you know already, I adore my dogs. Whisper, my 15 year old Toy Poodle, is elder. She can no longer walk as well, needs acupuncture twice a month and her weak bladder can last only three hours. She, then, is my constant companion. We travel together, to meetings and visits. We have a new, more intimate relationship. There is a sweetness to it.
Treasure, my Bichon, and Charlie, my 4-year-old retired Grand Champion Toy Poodle bring pure joy into my life. For Treasure, every opportunity at a belly rub, is sheer heaven. For Charlie, every daily walk is a new and exciting adventure. What dogs will we meet on Third Avenue? What smells await? Their delight in life reminds me to appreciate the moment.
For three years I was off the exercise grid for medical issues. Now I am back at the gym, on the yoga mat and the tennis court. In recovery I realized how much I had missed moving my body. What gratitude to have it back, to feel my heart beating and to recover in rehab. Call me crazy, but I am thrilled to sweat for the right reasons.
Back to my original question. If this were the last day of my life what would I change? Not that much.
I would reach out to the people I love. I am reminded that I might do this with greater frequency.
I would arise without my alarm clock, play a game of tennis, walk the dogs as the sun sets, breathe in the October chill.
Perhaps a meal with a friend, enjoy the remainder of the evening with my dogs and enjoy the beauty of the life I have been given.
I get to do most of this every day. How cool is that?