Learning how to really understand life and death

In life there are a few things that no matter what we have to do. We all live. You have to do that on a daily basis. Even if you do not want to . We have to follow rules and pay taxes. If you do not both of those can land you serving time. And the last thing is death. All of us have to die. We can not avoid it. It is just part of life. And at some point in everyone of our lives we have lost someone we loved and we asked the why’s and what if’s. Some came with answers and others did not. But either way we had to live through it.

Not until I got sick I never really gave death or dying much thought. I hurt when people I knew or loved passed on. But in the reality of it all I never thought about me dying. Not until I had a doctor lay down the scariest truth I had ever heard. And at that point I was grasping straws in that moment and every possible thing passed through my mind. I questioned everything. Would I go to heaven? Hell? Will it hurt? Would anyone care? And I began to think about things that I had never really sat back and thought about before. I mean I had done some pretty bad things in my life and I thought is that what I will be remembered by? All the bad? And it hurt to think that yes that was a possibility. I would be remembered for the lies and hurt I caused during my addiction. That hurt to think that may be where it would end up. That I would be remembered by nothing good at all. And if you look at the big picture in your own lives.. What would you be remembered by? Think about it. In the world we live in people notice and remember the bad things far more often than the good. Could you say that people would remember you in a good way? To sit back and think about that question was one of the hardest things I had really ever done. At that point, I became bitter and angry but more at myself than anyone else. All the bad things I would be remembered by were all my fault those things I did were because of an action that I took and that is why it would forever be a part of my life. But I didn’t know hard until I met a pastor. And I was getting things in order for when the time comes. Which by the way is a lot harder than I thought it would be. And I sat and spoke to him and we discussed how I wanted the service to go. We spoke for a few hours and he said he could tell a “normal” funeral would not do me and the life justice. I agreed with him. But was curious at where he was going with this. He asked me to write a letter. In the letter he wanted me to write to my family and friends something they would remember me by. And he would read it when the time came. Now if you know me.. I use a lot of colorful language. So I felt that he may want to preach again. So I sat down and really thought about it. All I could picture was a church full of people I didn’t know. Sitting there and whispering about what I had done in my life and it was all negative. And it kind of made me mad. Sitting there I asked myself… April if you knew you were dying but you didn’t know when . What would you want your last words to the people that love you and care about you .. what would they be? If you think about it really it is not that easy. I mean of course you want it to be memorable . Something that they will sit back and say wow she really thought about that one. But for me that was not the route I wanted to go. I sat back and looked at the life I had lived to that point. The ups, the downs, and everything in between. And I could only come up with one word. The only word that made sense to me. Even if it didn’t make sense to anyone else. It made sense to me. And at that point.. I began to open my heart up and just put the pen to paper and let it all flow. Throughout my life there was one thing I lacked. And again I say a lot of it was by my own doings. But the one thing I longed for in this life was PEACE. I had never in my life had any peace. Not in my head, my heart, my addiction.. never in the whole time I was on this planet have I ever had peace. I didn’t know what it really meant. I had heard the term for many years. But to actually say I was at peace. Nope.. never..

So I decided that my last words I would ever be known for would be peace. The world we live in is so busy all the time. Everyday lives running around not looking at the big picture. I wanted to find that all my life. But I did not find it until I got sick. When I found out I was sick. I found my peace. And I didn’t know what it was at the time but after much thought and a look in the dictionary.. I had found it. I finally had peace. And I felt free. A free I had never had either. I was able to look back at all the things that had happened in my life-good and bad. And say I survived. I made it. I had been to hell and back already. I was alive for the first time. We live in a world where it is okay where we judge things by what is not “our” normal. But the reality of all our situations is this… WE ALL DIE! But for the first time in my life.. I WAS LIVING! Not just a shell of a person walking around just being.. I was able to see life for what it was. The beauty in things I took for granted that they would always be there. I was able to live for the very first time in my life. It may seem weird to some but when the doctors looked at me and said ” with treatment you have a 26% recovery rate .. without treatment you have a 0% recovery rate” … It put life and everything in it into a different light for me. And as many chances as I had been given that I just threw away be cause I took my life for granted. I now had the opportunity to LIVE! And that is what I have done. I have come to peace with myself and my life as it is right now. This very moment in time. I am at peace. Years ago those two words would have never made sense in the same sentence. But today I am here and I am alive. I have made it through hell and back again. I have found me and my purpose. And I am happy and free. And it is for no one to understand but me. I am no longer living for anyone else. I am taking this life and everything I am going through right now and I am holding on with both hands and I am not letting go. Granted none of us have an expiration date on us. I know that. I should have been dead many times over.  But I also know that at 33 years old.. I am living and I am more alive than I have ever been.

So I leave you with this thought.. What would want to say to loved once if you had a chance to say anything to them before you passed .. what would you say?

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By aprilgaddis10

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