Celebrating a Life

PierWill and I traveled to Vancouver earlier this week to attend his friend’s funeral. I never met “Gaz,” though Will had told me many stories about his lifelong “mate”; but through the stories his friends and family shared that day, Gaz’s life came into sharp focus.

Though he died too young, he lived well, traveling the world, enjoying the sports and activities he was passionate about, making his close friends and family a priority, and always, always having fun.

At the reception afterwards, one woman said to me, “It just makes me want to exercise more and take better care of my health.” Yes. But for me, listening to Gaz’s friends and family celebrate his life,  I was reminded once more about how important it is to live life well and passionately. Like Gaz, I want to get to the end of my life having done it right: having loved well;  having explored the world; having honoured my creative spirit and my mermaid soul. We only get one crack at this “wild and precious” life. There’s no sense in waiting.

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About Sally

Poet, seeker, author, mom. Celebrating the beauty and mystery that surrounds us and learning to trust in the journey.
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28 Responses to Celebrating a Life

  1. kingmidget says:

    There isn’t … but how many of us end up waiting? Thanks for the reminder

    • I think we all wait at one time or another in our lives; it’s a safe place to work from. But I know that for me, if I wait until my boys are grown and out of the house to pursue the things I love, there might not be much time left!

      • kingmidget says:

        I pursue what I can while I finish raising my boys. Once they’re out and on their own … watch out.

      • If there is a way in which I’m waiting in my life, it’s with my boys. It’s a gift we give our children – and ourselves. But having my guys every second week affords me a certain level of freedom not to wait. I feel like I need to take advantage of that.

      • kingmidget says:

        Yes … my kids are at the point where one will be leaving for college this year and the other will be right behind him. I’m not needed the way I was for so long and in the way I was willing to put everything else on hold for. There have been times as I’ve struggled with the issues in my marriage that the idea of only being a “dad” 50% of the time has had an appeal to that other piece of me.

      • I am always the first to say that if I could have made it work, I would have stayed in the marriage, but it wasn’t my choice. Having some “me” time ahead of the original schedule I had mapped out in my head is a happy product of an unfortunate circumstance. I applaud you for sticking with things, even when they were hard.

  2. El Guapo says:

    Best lesson possible.
    I’m sorry Will’s friend passed away, and I hope he inspires you two to go out and enjoy the hell out of yourselves.

  3. Diane C says:

    I really believe that to take every advantage of this “wild and precious life” we need to take care of our internal lives first. If our internal life is not in order then there is little fun and enjoyment to be found in our outer lives. At least, that has been my experience. Sally, please offer my condolences to Will. Even though I haven’t met him, I can sympathize with the pain he must be feeling.

    • Thank you, Diane. I agree that taking care of our internal lives is paramount. I know that after my divorce, I spent the better part of a year on a deep, internal journey, sorting through my pain and anger and bewilderment, trying to understand what had happened, and trying to grow from it. What I didn’t understand at the time was that it wasn’t a journey that would end when I recovered from the divorce. I’ll be working through things and monitoring my internal life until the day I die.

  4. Sounds like a beautiful legacy.

  5. kp says:

    Gaz sounds a lovely man who lived well indeed and there is a lesson in that for all of us! I am glad that Will has you in his life while he mourns the loss of his life-long friend. Sending love and light your way….Kim

    • Thank you, Kim. Even though I didn’t know Gaz, I’m really glad I went along with Will to the funeral. I think he needed somebody there with him. And it was interesting to piece together his friend’s life and legacy through the ceremony.

  6. susielindau says:

    I am with you on that one! I went skiing today and thought about how it can be risky at times especially the expert terrain we ski. I would be bored out of mind skiing the blue runs. That is the same in life. If you have two choices always Go For It!

  7. You certainly walked away with a wonderful message, thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. I’m definitely someone who has tended to spend too much time waiting in life. But for what? Gaz sounds like an inspiration to those who knew him… And now us, too. So sad for Will and all who mourn for him.

    • I know that waiting is often a safe option; and for some, a quiet life, one that is measured and calm and sedate, would be the very definition of a life well-lived. I think the important thing is thinking about how we’ll feel about it all when we reach the end – and living in a way that honours what is most important.

  9. no sense at all… and yet… the every day fills my every day. it’s good, though, but i could do without the laundry and stuff like that… 🙂

  10. Seb says:

    Nice piece. One for those of us who run with scissors, de-tag mattresses and stick, well you know what, in crazy.

    • You really know how to live on the edge, Seb! I think that was one of the things people liked the most about Gaz. He took risks in business and in life. I’ve never seen so many ex-girlfriends at the same funeral in my life 🙂

  11. The Hook says:

    Perfect marriage of imagery and prose. Gaz would be touched.

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