I had to write this essay for my yoga teacher training and from the time we got proposed with this topic, for 10 days following I thought about it nonstop. I guess the good thing is that if this time ever comes, I will have already planned it, so I don’t need to waste any time thinking about it.
Time to time I have had the odd thought about this topic, followed with a random idea of something I would want to do, but to think intensely on this topic, none of those ideas became relevant. I always thought of bucket list things, but as I have grown to find comfort in the life that I live presently day to day, those bucket list things are no longer forefront.
If I knew, here is what my day would look like:
To start, I would sleep in, as much as my anxiety ridden mind would allow. When I woke, I would want it like any other morning. Rolling over and looking over at my fiancé, Chad, in awe of the love we share. No sooner being greeted good morning by my dog River, as she steps her front legs onto the bed and licks me, tail wagging against the wall waking up Chad. Followed by my little dog Chevy rolling around in her bed, snorting and growling in excitement that we are awake. Laughing with Chad at our precious girls as we kiss good morning before getting up to have coffee. I would probably opt to have regular coffee over decaf to feel those heart palpitations one last time, really reminding me that I’m alive. We would make eggs benedict together and enjoy it on the deck as we watched the dogs chase birds in our yard.
I think after that I would want to see my immediate family, parents, brothers and sisters-in-law, my niece, and grandparents. Get to spend some quality time with them as we reminisce on the amazing life we got to enjoy together. We would laugh and cry, and I would remind them that I never want them to be sad when I’m gone. One of the most important things to me is that I leave behind a life that is celebrated, not mourned.
As the day progressed, I would want to spend it with those closest to my heart. I tossed around the idea of, if I would tell them or not, but knowing how hard it is to even get my family together for a family dinner, I would have to tell them to make sure they would make it. I had a thought pass through my mind about wanting to mend faded relationships with friends or family, but I soon knew that I am at peace with the idea that we grow and move on from people as we move through the chapters of life. I wouldn’t want to spend my last day having conversations with people who weren’t actively a part of my life. I have done a lot of work to find closure for those relationships and after thinking on it, I would be happy to leave knowing that closure was there, on my end anyways.
I would have the ones who I loved dearly, including my dogs, join me in the mountains for a big bonfire where we could share memories and celebrate my life. It would be a time full of love, gratitude, laughter, and connection both physically and energetically. I would make sure every person there knew how much I loved them, and how important they were in my life. We could roast hotdogs, and have fresh bakery buns of course, followed by smores (with mini egg chocolate), and now thinking about food I would have to have a few of my mom’s home-made cinnamon buns for sure.
I think on the topic of parents now, I would want to get to spend time to talk to them alone. To have the opportunity to thank them for everything they taught me, and for always being such rocks in my life, loving me unconditionally. As the night went on and the stories began to taper with the time growing closer to say goodbye, knowing my brother and Chad, there would have to be fire works. After the fireworks and popping a bottle of Mama Mango to celebrate my life, I would say goodbye to everyone except my immediate family. Once everyone else was gone I would take my last hours to spend in the comfort of my family.
I would have everyone in my childhood home that my brother now owns. It was the first place I called home as a newborn, and it holds such a special place in my heart, I think it would be so comforting to spend my final hours there. We would all sit in the living room, I would get to lay on the comfy couch, and just visit and enjoy each other’s presence. My girls (dogs) and Chad would be curled up with me and my family all nearby. My mom could brush her thumb over my forehead and into my hair like she always did to put me to sleep as a little girl. My dad could hold my hand tight, as he always did when I was scared. I would like to think that I wouldn’t be scared to leave, but as I write this with tears running down my face I don’t know if that would be true. I have always a made a point to live a life that I would be proud to look back on, with no regrets.
I have a quote tattooed on me that says, “dream as if you will live forever, live as if you will die today”, and I think that has been one of the truest things I have lived by. I don’t think I am scared to die. When I have thought about it, when doing things that are risky like mountain sledding or sky diving, I always did them with the mindset that we are all going to die one day, and I would rather live my life and do things I enjoy, than live my life in fear of dying. I always lived this way so I could look back and know I lived, not just existed. However, the thought of knowing I only had 24 hours to live, brings up much different feelings. They are much deeper, more wholesome, more grounded, but there is a lot more fear with this thought. I think the fear comes in more around the idea of having to leave my loved ones behind, over the actual act of dying.
I have often thought to myself if I would want to know when I was going to die or not, and I think after having to write this and actually think about it, the answer would be no. I want to live every single day to the fullest, and that doesn’t mean always doing something extreme, but always living with a heart full of gratitude and love. I think this topic is a good reminder that the time we have is so precious and most of the time, we don’t know when that time will end.
Ensure to make the most of each day. Love yourself fully and unconditionally, be kind, and continue becoming the best version of you with every day that you are gifted.
Taylor Goebel xx
LPN & Graduate Coach
LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE
I am a nurse, holistic health coach, yoga teacher and lover of adventure.
I have worked in healthcare since graduating nursing school in 2016 and was fortunate to enter this role with The Holistic RN & Co. following some life events that shifted my perspective on our current healthcare system. After I was put in a position where I was stripped of my bodily autonomy by a system I worked within, knowing how strongly I respected and honored my patients same rights, I choose to step away.
I couldn’t be happier to be in this position now, helping incredible individuals work towards health and happiness in a way that honors not only how unique they are internally, but externally as well.
I love to laugh and make healthy living fun and accessible to everyone. Peace within our mind, bodies, and soul are our birthrights, after all.