Thank you, David Reed
A friend of mine recently sent me this LinkedIn post by someone named David Reed. Actually, it’s not a post; it’s a meditation on mortality. But more. It is a meditation on life. The power and grace of his words startled me. I wondered whether I could write something akin to this, maybe even better? I decided I couldn’t. So, I share this man’s words with you here in hopes that they resonate with you as they did with me.
On the day I die a lot will happen. A lot will change.
The world will be busy.
On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.
The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.
The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.
All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or discard.
The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me…
The arguments I believed I’d won will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.
All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.
My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should always have been anyway.
Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away.
My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others, will be left to them to complete.
The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore.
All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.
The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before, while I lived.
These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die.
Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing will happen.
On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply.
They will feel a void.
They will feel cheated.
They will not feel ready.
They will feel as though a part of them has died as well.
And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me.
I know this from those I love and grieve over.
And so knowing this, while I am still alive, I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it.
I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment, worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.
Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live; vying for your attention, competing for your affections.
They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating ‘Now’ with those who love you and want only to share it with you.
Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.
It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die.
Don’t let your life be stolen every day by all that you’ve been led to believe matters. Because on the day you die—the fact is, that much of it simply won’t.
But before that day comes, let us live.
I tried hard to find out who this David Reed is, but no success. There are many David Reeds out there. If I could identify this man, I would reach out to thank him for his profoundly powerful and exquisitely beautiful insights.
And, true to his words, I would want to get to know him, so I could count him among the friends who might miss me — or perhaps I, him — when one of us passes, unexpectedly.
Thank you, David Reed. I am moved by your words. Maybe, those who are reading this article, will be too.