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Three Days From a Funeral

Friday, October 07, 2011

During my yearlong internship, I learned a phrase; 'you are only 3 days away from a funeral.'

This morning someone died who I never met; I am presiding at his funeral Sunday afternoon. He died unexpectedly, from a heart attack.

The news and internet are full of stories about Steve Jobs, who died this week. I read the commencement address he gave at Stanford in 2005. He'd been diagnosed and treated for cancer and was initially given 3 to 6 months to live. Instead, Jobs lived about 6 years more. In his address, Jobs talked about the impact of facing death; learning to make choices as if the day was one of his last.

We are all just three days away from a funeral, potentially. Potentially, our own. The question becomes 'how do I want to live these next three days?' Not as an invitation to be hedonistic but as an invitation to evaluate how I spend my time, the choices I make.

Last night on The Office, Darrell, a character who'd been the warehouse supervisor but was promoted upstairs, missed out buying a lottery ticket share with the other warehouse workers. The warehouse workers won millions and all quit, leaving Darrell to hire new workers. Despondent, he told the the interviewees not to take the job because 'you take the job and suddenly it is 10 years later and you are at the same position.'

So, what is life going to be? The same old, same old for 10 years until you drop dead unexpectedly? Or, will you embrace the gift of life you've been given? Discover the 'you' God created you to be?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I figure, as you do, that the healthy choices I make will either add days to my life or life to my days, so I win either way!
    2355 days ago
    I agree we have no guarantees about how long our gift of life will be. But, you sure have two genetic paths laid out before you.

    Taking care of yourself, using your God-given talents is the path I try to take, most days.

    My mother had adult onset diabetes (type 2), and died at 69 of a heart attack followed by strokes. High blood pressure too. She didn't take care of herself, ate improperly and was on a mess of meds. My dad lived till 92, until the last 3 years of his life had never been hospitalized, took 1 aspirin a day for arthritis in his finger. I too have two genetic paths, certainly not as clear as your dad's side.

    My MD said we tend to favor one parents side or the other...we can't pick out which side but to me, Type 2 diabetes, at least, can be avoided by eating healthy and exercising. Hence my SP.

    Here's to appreciating the gift of life today! Have a blessed one~
    2355 days ago
    I hadn't heard the expression, but it's a good one.

    Steve Jobs died of the same kind of cancer NED (neuro-endocrine) that killed my father. Because it is not wide spread, there isn't a great deal of funding for research. Liver transplants are VERY rare for NED patients (who are not multi-millionaires) and probably added years to Mr. Jobs life.

    This cancer definitely has a genetic aspect, but with little research funding, there is no way to know if you are a carrier. It is very difficult to detect before it spreads to multiple organs. My dad died within months of his diagnosis at age 64. His dad (my grandfather) died of cancer at age 64. His dad (my great grandfather) died at age 64.

    So at 48 I figure I may have another 15 or 16 healthy years, OR I may live well into my 90's like both of my grandmothers did (my mom is still living). Assuming I would make it to 96 I have as many years ahead of me as I have behind me!

    But of course both of these scenarios exclude the possibility of a bus flattening me. We are not promised anything. We need to appreciate each day.

    2356 days ago
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