Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

-Norman Cousins

The number one cause of death everywhere is life itself. You were born;

One day you will die.

But guess what? You know what they don’t tell you? I am going to show up. I am going to have a dumpster with me. I am going to drop it in your now vacant drive way. I am going to take your junk and take it to the landfill. I will do it all without a care.

I’m going to watch the Caterpillar D-10 Waste Handler push the junk around and smash it. All as the vibrations from the machine shake the earth in that distinctive sound only a tank can make. Gunk-Gunk-Gunk Gunk-Gunk-Gunk… It’s going to try to lull me to sleep, my indifference to your memories the mood for the moment.

I’m going to drive off and worry about the landfill bill. The bills are so expensive.

I am going to then write that dumpster pick-up, then invoice it at day’s end. Your survivors are going to pay the bill. Otherwise, I’ll put a lien on your home. You see that piece of real estate that your survivors are selling is the only thing they are after.

They are trying to get rid of your stuff fast enough to salvage some value from the home. The rest of your stuff gets the tank treatment.

Recently this is exactly what happened to one of my customers. The photos show exactly that. Photos, of some guy I never knew. In in those images I took of ‘some-guy’s’ life remnants, you can see two things: his photos & their ultimate destiny. I note the photos because there were SO MANY of them!

When I look at photos, I no longer see images. I see intent. I imagined him to be a guy that tried to hold on, a guy that may have been too afraid to live. A guy who was trying to keep connections to loved ones because he was too afraid to live in the moment and fill life with his fullest self. This guy tried to hold on. He tried to hold on, OR he was taking pictures of people’s weddings, which is more probably more accurate. We can now look at those images and apply stats and know that somewhere between 40-60% of those marriages ended in divorce. No doubt the stress helping those folks gets them to an earlier grave.

I am not trying to dwell on the morbid or be fatalistic here. But there is only one thing I wish to express. Death will arrive and nothing you think will matter. Nothing you posses will matter, save one thing. Those emotional connections that you develop in your life; those are the only things that truly matter. The love you are brave enough to share. The forgiveness you are humble enough to give. The snuggles that turn into sleeping in front of the fireplace. The tickling of the kiddos until someone pees their diaper. Ooops!

I know all of this may sound trite, but I want to illustrate exactly what does happen after you die. Because, you will die. And literally, everything I described above will happen. I will drop a container in your drive. Your relatives will get a coordinated effort of family members to throw your crap out. I will schlep it to the landfill. The material handler will run it over many times and it will get smashed into oblivion. You will be forgotten. So will I.

Your stuff will be archived in a landfill. It will mingle with bleach, and cobalt and mercury. It will eventually cause groundwater contamination, and so too will you family members. I dwell on the mechanical aspects of the post death process because if you try to hold on, you’re going to miss the point. The point isn’t to preserve, the point is to share. The point is to share and celebrate. And to do that moment after moment until you’re content and fulfilled. It’s that simple, yet so difficult. I am getting better at practicing this yet.

But that is also why I have started this company. I believe I can make a difference, leave it all on the field so to speak. Because I believe that I can use this as a way to encourage people’s engagement with life. To reach those that want to come alive, I believe I can help more people

 

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