Alex and I have attended six funerals between us in the last 12 months. That includes three grandparents, a great-aunt, a good friend’s father, and a classmate with whom I graduated high school. I detailed my grandfather’s passing in November and we’ve just today returned from Alex’s grandfather’s services.
I’m not sharing this to bum you out, ask for sympathy, or exploit loved ones for the sake of a blog post. It’s just that with each funeral I attend, I think more and more about my list. I think it’s natural for most people to think about their own lives, what they’ve done, what they’ve yet to accomplish, when attending a service that celebrates the passing of another.
My original reason for starting my list isn’t a noble one. In high school I was simply bored and knew I wanted a more interesting and exciting life than the one offered to me in a small town. This list stayed in the back of my mind but was shoved to the forefront shortly after I separated from my husband in 2005 and I found the 101 Things to Do Before You Die book by Richard Horne. At that point I felt like I needed a new beginning, a fresh start. Progressively since starting the blog in 2009, it’s been more about keeping me from being stagnant, my motivation for trying new things.
And this year, more and more, it’s taken a very literal meaning: things I want to do before I die. Life is truly so fleeting. Grandparents that lived full lives surrounded by loved ones is the ideal we all hope for but for two people this year, lives were ended far short of where they should have. There are no guarantees that tomorrow on my way to work I won’t be killed in a car accident. And the very least I can do is experience all that I can while I’m here.
So I apologize for this bummer of a post but I increasingly felt the need to talk about it. Hope you don’t mind.