What Will You Miss (When You Die)?

A few years ago I bought Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away. The book provides writing prompts to help you explore your life.

I recently read some of what I wrote when I first bought the book in 2008. One piece really spoke to me. I share it with you today because I know I don’t always live life with the end in mind. The reality is, we all have an end.

By thinking about what we will miss, perhaps we’ll spend more time focusing our attention on those activities. Maybe life will feel more purposeful. I’m pretty sure that’s why this piece resonated with me.

I wrote this in December 2008. I can honestly say, nothing has changed. There is more that I would add.

What will you miss when you die?

Wow. What won’t I miss? As I write this I sit cozy warm in front of the wood stove, fire raging, my cats by my feet. My coffee mug warms my left hand and the fresh scent of pine from the Christmas tree fills the room.

I will miss my early morning coffee, writing and meditation practice. I will miss snuggling on the couch with my husband, Michael, and our cats. I will miss Michael, Abby, Andrew, Mom, Dad, Alicia, Matt and the rest of my family.

Sonny McLean's 12-24-11

I will miss boogie boarding, playing skee-ball and walking the boardwalk at Nantasket Beach. I will miss vacations to exotic lands and laughing with friends/family until I’m ready to pee in my pants. I will miss the quiet that follows a snow storm and the white snow so fresh and soft on the ground.

I will miss watching Sunday afternoon football, cheering the Patriots on to a Super Bowl win.

When I die I will miss dreaming about all that could be. I will miss being “star struck”.

I will miss writing and the ability to create.

I will not miss heartache. Though I know I am where I am today because of it.

I will miss conversations, watching the stars shine bright above my head.

I will miss the opportunity to make a difference and help find some peace in the world.

I will miss sleeping next to my husband and feeling his toes touch mine or our arms lock in the middle of the night. I will miss the sound of my cats purr, their warm breathe on my face when they wake me up in the morning. I will miss Michael’s hugs and the playfulness we share together.


Your turn:

I invite you to grab a journal and set a timer for 10 minutes. Ask yourself the question, “What will you miss when you die?” Then, go do more of that.

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About Stacey:

Hi and welcome to the Brave Communicator blog where I write about communication as the path to well-being, trust, and influence.

I share insights, observations and interviews with brave communicators. I invite you to take a look around and bravely join the conversation. Learn more
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