Not that long ago, a friend sent me a deeply moving letter written by a 34-year old man, who is dying of cancer. I thought I’ve probably read the things he’d written there many times before, that I know and feel them, and that there can’t be anything new in a letter like this, but then I changed my mind. Every person is a unique being and we all experience things in our own way: some more profoundly, others more superficially, but the fact remains that we all “feel” and are spared no suffering. Some people indeed have a more difficult life experience: it sometimes happens, following some mysterious and perhaps even obscure key, that the whole world falls on their shoulders, and they’re unable to break the vicious circle. People tend to relate this to karma or simply traces of our past lives, because we’ve left many unresolved issues behind and things end up waiting for us. In the circle. So remember, they will find us one way or another, perhaps not tomorrow, but in ten years or in the next life; it’s irrelevant, when, facing the issues is what’s important. And that is called growth.
So I attentively read the letter, which one of my favourite Slovenian magazines also published, and was immediately shaken up, when I read: “I’m only 34, but I’ve already chosen my last tie. It’s the one I will wear to my own funeral in a couple of months. It might not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for this occasion.” I wonder, what a person feels, who knows exactly what’s waiting for them, and even though we all share this destiny, there is still usually a surprise factor, because you never know, when your turn is going to be. You can only hope it’s later rather than sooner, for yourself and for those you care about. The man confidently and in great detail lists the things he would have probably changed today, and since his time is running out, we wants to share them with the reader. And even though it’s mostly advice we already know, I still get the feeling we don’t really follow it. Because we aren’t brave enough. Perhaps we don’t cherish life, which he describes as “a wonderful playground, where anything is possible”. His thoughts crawl under my skin, come straight to my heart, wedge deep inside my soul, produce a stream of tears, then fear, and in the end I can only accept my own weakness, because as a person I’m full of mistakes and Mother Nature oftentimes doesn’t let me learn from old ones.
“Don’t waste your time doing things you don’t enjoy”, he says. When was the last time I created something I enjoy 100 %? I have a job, of course, one that I love and it’s a big part of my life, but it’s still only a job, responsibilities, meetings, and people, who are not always friendly. So when? I have no idea. “It’s silly to fear opinions of others. Fear weakens and paralyses you. If you let it get to you, it can grow bigger with each day, until you lose yourself completely and all that’s left of you is a shell. Listen to your inner voice, and follow it. Some people may call this crazy, but there are others, who will think you’re a legend.” So other people’s opinions and this armour of mine, which is known for not exactly letting people in, while at the same time my antennae are so long they reach the stars, and I hear, feel, analyse everything, and dissect it like the most precise surgeon, and then I ponder and mull over things until I start to find myself annoying, because in between, I forget to live. And I’d like to be a legend, but I’m not. What does he know? Do we ever learn to swim against the current for the things we truly believe in? Do we know how to let things go, send them all to hell, forgive and forget, believe in our own path, and quite simply, just go? I’m not sure.
“Take control of your life and accept full responsibility for the things that happen to you.” I don’t know, if you’ve ever had the feeling that you’re floating in water on your back, and the water glides underneath you, sometimes calmly and other times with a whirl, and sometimes a wave catches you unprepared, washes over you and when you surface to catch a breath again, you feel that life can be unexpected and I know we don’t really like surprises. “Appreciate people around you”, to which I would add “and purge those you don’t need”, because they drain your energy and demand all sorts of things from you, including things which do not make any sense whatsoever. I like to imagine that I can be a perfect little glitter, which rises high up in the sky and floats fearlessly through the universe, completely free and light, like morning dew. I like the thought that somewhere over the rainbow, in another world and with people we have not yet met, there is something different waiting for us and the experience we would like to have or need, the love we yearn for, the peace and quiet which we have lost on this side. I like the thought that everything is given to us, if we only want to take it, see it, feel it and perhaps express our gratitude in the end.
I don’t know, where this man is today, he who gave me so many thoughts, and who found light inside of me in this exact moment. And I don’t know, if I have to hope that his fight is still going on, or that he has closed his eyes for ever after. I only wish he would not suffer. And I wish I could meet him in the next lifetime just to thank him. And to give him a hug, just like I’m giving you one, because I know how much we all need it.