Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

skyAs we get older, it’s more likely that people we know will pass away. When my mom moved to a senior community, the downside was that people around her were older and she heard about too many people dying. It made her depressed and a little scared about her own mortality. I feel it when a celebrity I knew from childhood or one close to my age passes. Even if someone is much older than me, like Andy Griffith (86) or Edie Gorme (80), I still remember watching them on TV with my parents, so it feels uncomfortable knowing they’re gone.

We can make celebrities seem invincible in our minds. While we don’t usually know them personally, if they’ve come into our homes via TV or their music is played, we feel a personal connection to them and feel a loss in their passing. When a singer I had a crush on when I was very young died, I felt a need to mourn. I had his pictures plastered on my walls for year. Even though I hadn’t though about him in a long time, it felt like a loss, a reminder that my childhood was way behind me and my mortality was in my face.

I heard from a friend today who was upset that a woman she did volunteer work with had died. She was older and had a lot of sorrow in her life but my friend will miss her. And she feels sad that the woman never found fulfillment in life. Seeing any life end is sad, often tragic. As much as we feel a loss, we may also personalize it by thinking:

•    Will my time come sooner than I expect?
•    Will I make my dreams come true in time?
•    Will I have many regrets in the end?
•    Will I feel loved?

I’ve learned to counter any negative thoughts with feelings of appreciation for my life and gratitude that I’m still here. And make sure that you do your best to really live while you’re here. Give lots of love, especially to yourself. Then you’ll have fewer regrets.

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