We’ve all heard the expression that you should live every day like it’s your last, but that makes me think of indulgent thoughts of doing whatever makes me happy. But what if we were to live every day like it was their last? Treating whoever you see every day with as much kindness and love as possible as if you were never going to see them again.
This thought occurred to me this morning when I was out walking Fifi, and I was just watching her thinking about how much I love her, and I thought, why do I love this dog so much?! And I realised it is a combination of a couple of things.
Firstly, thinking about our family dog that we had since I was eleven, and who died just a couple of years ago. She was such a constant in our life, and as silly as it sounds, I had never really considered that there would be a time when she wouldn’t be there. When she died I was beyond heartbroken, I couldn’t step foot into the park for about a year after without crying. So now I know the pain and the immense grief of losing a dog.
This brings me on to my second thought, the time crunch. Dogs usually live for around 11 years, so Fifi being around 3 years old is about 25 in dog years, and is about a quarter of the way through her life. Right now we are at the same stage of life, which is quite nice, but in just a few years she will be slowing down and turning into an old lady. The fact that she is inevitably going to die before me is just another reason why I love her so much, I know we only have a limited amount of time together, so I try to make sure that she is always happy.
And although this is a bit depressing (sorry), it is also quite a meaningful sentiment when applied to human relationships. Imagine a married couple, both young, healthy and with safe jobs. There is no imminent threat to life, they do not even think about each other dying because it just seems so far away, so as much as they love each other, they don’t prioritise spending time together because they think that they have a whole lifetime to spend together. But now imagine that one of them has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or is going off to war and might never come back. They will spend as much time together as possible, they will appreciate every single second and they will constantly be doing nice things for each other and telling each other how much they are loved.
This is because they suddenly have to consider how their life will be without their loved one, and how much they will be missed.
I know that I love my Fiance, but I get to see him every day, and being the same age as me, I assume that we will grow old together. But that is completely the wrong attitude to have. I can’t just assume we will grow old together, anything could happen, and then I would wish that I had been treating him as if he was living in dog years!
There is a fine line here, because if we spend all day thinking about our loved ones passing away we will find ourselves depressed and miserable, but I think it is worthwhile thinking from time to time about how much you appreciate them, and letting them know how loved they are.
We are all going to die at some point, and we are all on this journey of life together, so let’s make it as enjoyable as possible for each other. When you’re about to pick a fight about something stupid, just think for a moment, ‘if it was this persons last day on earth today, would I care about this’ and if the answer is no, then just let it go!
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