Today is a year to the day when my sister Christina passed away peacefully in hospital following a long battle with cancer. She was an incredibly strong woman who took things in her stride and stayed positive throughout the fight. People who met her wouldn’t know that she had cancer as she just got on with life.
She worked for me two days a week and was a great support to me. She was an extremely talented lady who helped me grow my business and her command of English was extraordinary.
She was amazing
People who knew her will remember her as a person who was kind, caring, thoughtful, loyal, and a wonderful mother to her son Peter who is currently studying at Edinburgh University. She had many friends, and they turned up from across the country today to attend a Church service dedicated in her memory at Nottingham Cathedral.
I have very fond memories of Christina over the years. We fought many times as siblings do but there was a great love for each other. When Chris was younger, she travelled the world with her friend Carmel and what adventures she had.
She loved to travel and sent me letters from all over the world telling me all about the things they were getting up to. I kept all those letters and read them all again after she passed away and remembered how she took life on and lived it to the full.
Chris was a strong Christian who loved Jesus and attended a great church in Nottingham called Trent Vineyard. We all miss her greatly but her legacy lives on and we have many fond memories to reflect on as our minds drift back to the past.
I came across this article today which describes 5 inspirational lessons we can learn from death.
What Death Taught Me About Life: 5 Inspirational Lessons By Joyce Marter Psychotherapist
“Through my personal experiences of love and loss, and through 20 years of counselling countless clients through theirs, I have learned the following truths.
My mother passed away when I was 36. She had a brain tumour and died seven weeks after diagnosis. My children were small, and I watched her deteriorate from living a full life as an involved grandmother to unable to walk or speak, to death, all in under two months. I experienced complicated grief for months, if not more than a year, after hear death.
A year ago, I lost my dear friend, Carrie, to breast cancer. It was powerfully heart-breaking and high honour to be part of a circle of women whom she entrusted to process her feelings about her impending death and to establish a plan to support her husband and kids following her passing. (I was asked to give her daughter advice about love and relationships.)
Most regrettably, I’ve also supported friends who have endured unimaginable losses: one who buried an infant and one who buried an adult child. There are no words.
Through my personal experiences of love and loss, and through 20 years of counselling countless clients through theirs, I have learned the following truths:
1) Life is truly a gift. We’re probably all guilty at times of viewing time as an obstacle we need to hunker down and get through (e.g., “Isn’t it the end of the workday yet?” “I just need to get through this year…”) Death reminds us that life is precious, temporary and not to be taken for granted or begrudged. A daily practice of gratitude such as a meditation, affirmation or journal entry is a great way to stay positive and aligned with the awareness of the awesome gift of life.
2) You are not your CV. While our academic and career accomplishments bring knowledge and experiences, it is our choices that define our character and bring wisdom. When somebody one day gives your eulogy, it is doubtful your GPA or workplace title will be cited. What will be remembered is how you made people feel, so be mindful of being present in your relationships and be your best self.
3) The present moment is where life occurs. We all ruminate about the past and worry about the future. Death reminds us that all we have for certain is right now and re-calibrates our values. Don’t waste your life second guessing your past or waiting to live your life. Live life passionately and fearlessly. Live today and every day to its fullest, brilliant magnificence. Laugh with abandon.
4) Loss can bring unexpected and enormous blessings. Hardships are opportunities for growth. In my practice and in my own journey, I have been awed and inspired by the resiliency of the human spirit. You never know how strong you are until you endure the unendurable. Notice the blessings you have received from your losses and be grateful for the ways those experiences have carved wisdom and depth into your being.
5) Love is the currency of life. In our culture, we place far too much value on achievement, money, possessions and beauty. Love is what matters and what is remembered. It is LOVE that connects us to one another and to the world around us, in life and beyond.”
“FORGIVE quickly, KISS slowly, LOVE truly, LAUGH uncontrollably.”
Thoughts for the week:
1. Are you living each day to the full expressing your love and real feelings to the people dearest to you?
2. Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell someone you love them
3. Are you chasing the dream of power, position, money, and stuff, or are you living each day mindful of the great things you already have in your life?
4. Be grateful today for the people in your life because life is fragile, and tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.
I finish with something I found today on my computer which is a fitting way to end this blog.
Smile because she lived
You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back, or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her, or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can try and close your mind, be empty and turn your back, or you can do what she’d want, smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
If today’s blog has touched you in any way, please feel free to reply to this blog as I am a real person who replies to emails.
Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and stay positive.