Monday, April 6, 2009

Life and Death

Chad and I attended the memorial for a friend today. He passed away just before Christmas, but his family wanted to wait till spring for the memorial.

Andrew Gumprecht was a wonderful man. Only 33 years old, but he managed to touch the lives of many in his role as a bartender. He told amazing stories and charmed everyone who met him. He had a big smile and an infectious laugh. The memorial today made me wish I had known him better. His family and closest friends shed a bright light onto the person he was and, to be honest, I feel a bit cheated that he was taken from us before I got the chance to know him better.

His death has also made me consider my own mortality. Why do I waste time with things that make me unhappy? Why do so many of us do that every day? Why don't we tell the people we love that we love them every chance we get? Why do we hesitate to open ourselves up to the people we want to be close to? What the hell are we afraid of? Getting hurt, I suppose. But I contend that it would hurt more to lose the chance to get close to someone you care about than it would if you were to open up and have it not reciprocated. At least then you'd know you made the effort to open up your heart and you wouldn't regret the fact that your didn't take the risk.

I would imagine most people have read/heard The Dash. It's a poem that basically states that it's not about the day of your birth or the day of your death. It's about the dash that's in between. I want to make the most of my dash. I don't want to waste time with petty bullshit. I want to forgive and forget and move on. While I want to recognize and address my anger and sadness, I don't want to dwell on those emotions. I want to focus on my happiness. I want to surround myself with people I love who love me in return - people who love me for ME, not the person they want me to be or think I should be.

Of course, we're all painfully aware that we have no idea how much time we have on this earth. No big surprise there. But I hope to make the most of every day I have here. I want to make "Carpe Diem" my mantra again, as it once was. Nothing ventured, nothing gained... and all those other painful cliches that prove to be true time and time again. I refuse to let the opportunity to express my love and admiration for those around me pass me by.

So, if you already know I love you, you'd better get ready for lots of hugs and kisses and "I love yous." And if you don't already know I love you, you're going to find out very soon. : )

"Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did." ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

"May you live all the days of your life."
~Jonathan Swift

"All I can say about life is, Oh God, enjoy it!" ~Bob Newhart

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