DeathWise® Blog

Let’s Live Big in 2014

  • By: Rolf Erickson
  • Published: January 8, 2021, 726 days ago

Why do people who have faced a life-threatening disease or accident claim that it changed their life? They’ll even say, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me.” Well, I’ve been through both experiences, and for me it boils down to one word: Perspective.

Looking death straight in the eye does wonders for putting your life in perspective. The small irritating “demands” of day-to-day living suddenly become just that. Small. Seeming frustrations related to work or family or finances or just getting up in the morning are suddenly the least of your concerns. Compared to death, they become almost irrelevant, even laughable.

Looking death in the eye awakens an awareness of our mortality, that we will someday die, all of us, whether sooner or later. And if we are fortunate, it can turn our attention to Living Big, not small.

When I say Living Big, I mean shifting our attention to those issues and opportunities that are deep, foundational, heartfelt, and treasured in our life. It may be the willingness to stop and genuinely share our feelings with those we love. It may be writing the book that has been knocking on the inside of our head for years. It could be taking a break to personally help others whose needs are greater than ours. It could be stopping to listen to the whispers in our own heart.

Having faced death slowly by disease, and quickly on a two-lane highway, my message to you is that you don’t need to wait for divine misfortune to shift your life from living small to Living Big. You can choose to make this move on your own, today, without undue drama or danger. You can look death in the eye, prepare for that inevitable day, and then move ahead in life, smiling.

That’s the reason we created the online resource called DeathWise. It’s a friend waiting to gently guide you through the process of considering how, when that day comes, you would prefer to die. It’s a guide to provide the information and tools you need to consider your end-of-life options, begin to make decisions, and document your choices regarding how and where and when your life will someday end.

And moving through that process is the first step in Living Big.

As the new year dawns, I strongly encourage you to stop now and take the time to work through what we call The Essentials:
1. Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
2. Living Will
3. Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
4. Will or Living Trust.

Taking this first step is an incredibly valuable gift that you can give to your family and friends, freeing them from having to guess at “what you would have wanted” in case you are unexpectedly incapacitated or die. And the unexpected does happen, more often than we would like to admit.

Planning for death is also a gift to yourself if you choose to accept it, to view your own life in a bigger perspective, beyond the small seemingly relentless demands and frustrations that consume the precious days of our life.

While we can’t foresee an unexpected event that might cut our life short, we can choose to look death in the eye now, deal with our feelings, and plan for the end. Then rekindle our vision, and get on living the Biggest Life we can imagine.

That is my invitation to you for 2014.

Let’s Live Big.