Similar to pretty much everyone else, I’ve lost close and distant family members, friends, colleagues, and beloved pets to the inevitable death we all face. However, unlike most people, I also lived in the world of law enforcement and violent crime for a number of years, which taught me just how fragile and temporary human life can truly be. We can be here one minute and gone the next – a little morbid and also very realistic. We each have our differing viewpoints on death and also how we cope with both thoughts of death and actual death. I treat it as an inevitable part of life, one that must not be avoided or feared.
I consider morbid thoughts and the idea of death a gift to our current relationships and also how we live our lives. Imagine if in every interaction you had with a human or furry loved one, friend, or colleague, that you reminded yourself this could be your last exchange with them. Not obsessively so, but a gentle reminder to yourself. How would you change the way you speak with them? Would you be more kind? Would you make sure to tell them how much they mean to you?
I do my best to remind myself of this as much as possible and it has made my relationships that much better for it. Having those morbid thoughts that I might not ever see this person again has changed what becomes a big deal and what doesn’t. For example, would you allow your spouse or partner to leave the house angry after an argument over something small if you thought that might be the last time you see them? What if it was your time to go – would you want that argument to be their last memory of you?
Here’s your call to action today – to achieve better relationships in your life (professional or personal), remind yourself that time with others is precious and never guaranteed. Identify what changes you want to make in how you behave towards others with this new perspective.