When I Die

This has been a sad month of celebrity deaths. Karen Alaniz of the blog Write Now noted in a June 14 post how the media announces that so-and-so died at age XX. I did a quick search and noted how media headlines blatantly shout announcements such as “Tim Russert – Dead at 58!” Karen commented how nice it would be if it were instead announced that someone LIVED to be age XX… “She LIVED to be 101!” That little twist of words changes a death into a celebration of life, and hopefully each of us is living a life to be celebrated. We don’t have to be celebrities or do something notable, but only to have enjoyed life and perhaps helped others along the way. She lived. That sounds like a person worth remembering. And that reminds me of a well-loved poem:

“To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a
Redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
This is to have succeeded.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
This entry was posted in death, inspiration. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When I Die

  1. I’d forgotten about that poem-wonderful. Thanks for visiting my blog. Live life…it’s really that simple, isn’t it. ~Karen

  2. Jerry Waxler says:

    Thanks so much for sharing thoughts about this powerful subject. Somewhere I read “if you know how to die, you know how to live.” I take it to mean living with full knowledge of death frees you up to live openly and with vigor. Jerry Memory Writers Network

Comments are closed.