When someone dies that is close to you, you inevitably reflect on your own mortality. It is one of those truism’s that we cannot escape. It can also be a positive action, causing you to endeavour to change your own life, in a positive way.

My experience

My mother passed away recently, and it was a sad time for the whole family. For 1 year I had the privilege of helping my Dad care of my Mom. One day I asked my Mom if she had any regrets in her life? She turned to look at me, and her eyes sparkled. She smiled and said that she had a wonderful life. That she and my Dad had done everything that they wanted to do in life when they wanted to do it. Their life together was an adventure.

My life

This made me think about my own life and its rollercoaster of experiences. One of the lessons that I learned from my parents is that you have to take the opportunity when it arrives at your door. One of these occurred recently. I was sitting in my car trying to figure out where I should go next to find some people that I would be able to survey for my job as a market researcher. A man arrived at the door and asked what was I doing parked in his driveway. I explained, and he invited me in to do a survey with him. One of the topics I was asking questions about was chronic pain.

As it turned out I ended up talking with him for nearly 2.5 hours, about pain, how we coped with it, and our strategies for getting through each day. It transpired that he was having a bad day, and my arrival on the scene allowed him to look at his situation from a new perspective. It also changed mine too. I think we both thought that we would not like the other’s situation. We knew what our pain was like, and did not want to experience a different type of pain.

The Benefit

It is interesting how we prefer what we know. As people who have chronic illnesses, we have learned to live with our version of the disease that inflicts us. We want to get better or not suffer, but we don’t want to swap what we have with something else. As a result of this chance opportunity, I now was grateful that I was not going through his pain. It made me feel better about myself. I didn’t finish my work that day and had to complete it 2 days later, but I don’t regret the time I spent with that couple.

The Future?

At some stage, I will feel sad, or feel upset, about my situation. I am sure of that. What will I do? I will remember this couple and feel that I am not so bad. The funny thing is, they will probably feel the same way. The outcome of this, we will both feel better, and that is worth something.

“Opportunity comes to pass, not to pause”

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