These past few months, I have experienced situations whereby either my friends, acquaintance, or friend of a family knew of someone who was recently diagnosed with a life threatening illness. The recent one was when a friend shared how her grandmother had been diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer last week and has approximately 6 months left to live.
Hearing all these news is like a stark reminder for me of the sure reality of life – death.
It is also a wake up call for me to live life more purposefully. While living a purposeful existence has been something I actively strive daily, I do admit that there were times when I got sucked in by the hustle and bustle of work or simply lulled by life’s daily routine that I forgot to do just that – to live meaningfully.
But you see, the thing with life is that no one expects themselves to be struck with a life threatening illness. We may recognize at the back of our minds that we may not be healthy forever however hearing news of yourself actually being ill – and to be told that you do not have long to live – would still be shocking nonetheless.
I was thinking to myself – what if I’m in that position? What if I were to find out someday that the sharp pain at my abdomen which I experienced from time to time is actually a tell-tale sign of something more harmful and would decimate my lifespan? Or what if that fainting spell I had recently was not due to a low sugar level but an indication of the body physically weakening and heading towards death?
Morbid thoughts but isn’t that how life is? Just how many people throughout history went through the route of suddenly finding out that the physical ailments they perceived to be nothing turned out to be the reason for their deaths? Not one or two but millions of them in this world has gone through that.
So back to this question: What would you do if you found out you have 6 months left to live? I found that like a pandora box, this single question opened up a host of other questions for me.
Would you continue working till you die? Would that work which had once consumed more than 12 hours of your daily existence still matter?
Would you argue less? Would winning that argument and having the last say be something you still seek?
Would you reach out more to those who matter? Would you be kinder to them? Would you spend more time with them?
Would you be less stubborn?
Would you be more forgiving?
Would you write a will?
Would you travel more?
Would you still buy that top, pants, mobile phone or whatever you have been planning to buy with next month’s pay cheque?
Would you sleep less in order to utilize all the waking hours you have left?
Would you seek treatment all the way and fight for a chance at living?
Would you accept that you only have 6 months left?
Would you be more present in worship? Would you be more present to life in general?
Would you smile more?
Would you laugh more?
Would you love more?
And… Would you live more?
Would you know how to live more?