As we age, the Baby Boomer generation is becoming increasingly aware of our mortality. It eats at the edge of our consciousness. The clock is ticking. Time is not infinite. The reality of our approaching demise looms large.
Older Baby Boomers especially realize that there are a limited number of years left to achieve any remaining life goals or make changes in our lives. Our memories – the good, the bad, the ugly – urge assessment of lessons learned. The question is, “How do we spend the remainder of our time?” Advancing age places a premium, an imperative, on our remaining years that galvanizes priorities.
Some of my friends have embraced religion. Others are more comfortable with their mortality, accepting alternate views of death and continuance of the life spirit. Among my Boomer acquaintances, none seem to fear death. Most just believe that one way or another they will find out if life after death exists.
For example, I know a beautiful sixty-year-old lady who is living in her third year of stage four breast cancer. She is not overly religious. However, she now enjoys everyday to the fullest and has made it her goal to bring happiness to everyone in her circle. The illness has catapulted her consciousness to a higher level. She has accepted her situation and believes it is part of her destiny. Death is just another doorway to her.
In our youth, death is an abstraction. As a 25-year-old lieutenant in Vietnam, I knew I could die but like all young men believed I would survive to go home. All these years later, I have accepted that there is no escaping human mortality.
So as I reflect on my life, I ask myself, “Are there things about myself I want to change? What remains to be accomplished? What have I learned during this journey? How do I want to be remembered?”
I believe immortality is really achieved through the memories of us carried by family, friends and acquaintances throughout their lives. Wise men have always known this. Wealth is immaterial. The true currency of immortality is love, caring and giving. Karma is indeed a prime force of existence.
A Message for all Baby Boomers
Younger Boomers still view death as a distant event slowly creeping towards them. Older Boomers know better. Anybody can be surprised. We all have an appointment with death.
For some, death will be unexpected. Anyone may suffer an aneurism or become the victim of a deadly cancer. And in today’s world, with potentially explosive hostilities and dangerous developments like the Coronavirus, nothing is certain.
None of us really know how much time we have left. The old axiom, “Live each day like it is your last” has never been so true. Now is the time to bestow love and kindness where we can, for these are the true currencies of a life well spent. And to Boomers already on the brink of passing, I say “Journey well.”