Last night while watching Sidney Poitier on Oprah’s Life Class, he brilliantly recounted stories from his past that solidified his position in most of our minds as a living legend. However, the 83 year old said something that really stuck out to me. When discussing his feelings about death, he described how he lived each day trying to be a better person therefore he wasn’t afraid of dying.
Essentially, he was saying that he had lived a quality life and did not seem to fear its end. I shutter when I think of dying and leaving my son, my life, my family… leaving everything behind. However, it was comforting to hear this man who has already accomplished so much in life, experienced so many highs and lows to say that he still strives to be a better person.
I pray that as I also continue to live and try to be a better person that I will have the same level of contentment with it all. I have had experiences and taken on projects, not necessarily because I wanted to gain something but sometimes just because I imagined myself an old woman looking back over my life and whatever that opportunity was, I didn’t want to look back and regret not trying it. Sometimes it turned it to be one of, what felt like, the best experiences of my life and other times, I realized that it was something that I never wanted to do again. But the key was… I knew, I would never have to wonder.
It makes me a little sad to know that someone right now is waiting for something major to happen before they start really living. Someone is passing up an opportunity that they really want out of fear. Someone has a dream deferred. Someone is living a life that they will one day regret.
I think the key to having peace with death is living life to the fullest and being the best person that you can be. For me, the basis of doing that is having a relationship with God so that when my day comes, I can feel certain that there is a place waiting for me in heaven. I don’t want to have to wonder…