This week, I’m going to talk about a subject most of us try to avoid: death.
Now before everyone starts groaning, allow me to explain. There were two fascinating stories in the news this past week involving death that you may have heard about.
First, there was the man in Luxor, Egypt pronounced dead at the hospital after suffering a heart attack. Keeping with Islamic tradition, the family brought the body home from the hospital and began preparing it for the funeral, when the man suddenly woke up.
His mother fainted… then they all celebrated.
And in England, there is a tragic yet inspiring story emerging in book form (and soon to be made into a movie) about a now-deceased mother who, upon learning she was dying from cancer, decided to dictate a list of things she wanted to happen after she took her last breath.
The lengthy list included items for her husband and children to do like travel to the pyramids, swim in the Red Sea, and a bunch of other thrilling activities. The family has already accomplished a number of these tasks and is determined to do them all. Beautiful.
I bring both of these death experiences up today because, if you consider them together, they actually say a lot about life and our perspective on it.
On one side, you have a man who has been granted the ultimate second chance at life, a chance to live again, to love again, even to correct things he may not have gotten right previously; an amazing opportunity.
On the other hand, you have a woman knowing that her life will soon be over using her remaining days to ensure that her family will live their lives to the fullest after she’s gone.
You see, both stories–fascinating and poignant as they are in their own ways–are relevant to all of us in that they are actually not about death at all. They are about life, for all of its wonder and opportunity.
We sometimes get in a rut where we feel our lives are not going anywhere and our problems are consuming us. But it really comes down to how we choose to look at life.
And I did say choose because no matter what we’re going through we can choose to focus on the negative or the positive, one obvious example is that brother, J.R. Martinez, from Dancing with the Stars who was disfigured while serving in Iraq. Look at how he’s moved on with his life, enjoying every day, focusing on the positive, living his dream.
So we should recognize, just like the Egyptian man who came back to life, that we have the opportunity from this day forward to pursue the life we really want, to change ourselves, to impact our world.
And if we can lay out all of the things we truly wish to do, see and accomplish on this earth today, then we have a shot at actually enjoying them with our loved ones, an opportunity that the English mother didn’t fully get.
The real point being that we should not have to come face to face with death before we recognize how precious and valuable our lives truly are and once we recognize this value, we’ll have little time to focus on death since our days will be so full of living.
Or as the great American writer, Mark Twain, once said:
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. One who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
Until next time, this is Stephanie in love and hope.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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