Thursday, January 03, 2013

Make Your Dash Count

Well I certainly did not want to start 2013 this way.
I am in mourning as I had a friend pass away on January 1.
There have been tears, laughs, anger, fatigue, regret, guilt, doubt and a lot of sadness the past two days.
One thing that has resonated with me as I am dealing with all of these emotions is a quote from the "Life of Pi": "I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye."
Well I was not able to take a moment to say goodbye.
My friend became suddenly ill. He was rushed to ICU on Dec. 28. He passed away on Jan. 1. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), and the measures they used to try to make him better ultimately took him away because he was too weak for the chemotherapy
The world lost a good one.
A family has lost a father, husband, son, and a whole bunch of people are missing a dear friend.
My friend's death came too early and it is a reminder that we never know when the sun will set on us.
So as we start the new year and resolutions are made, I plan on making sure the people that matter to me know how important they are so we don't have the regret or pain of not having said that goodbye.
It seems to me that all of the nice words that are spoken at a funeral are spoken too late for the man who is dead. People need to hear these things while they are above ground.
Don’t take anything for granted. You just never know. Life is short and precious and you must treat every day like it is a gift because it is. Easier said than done as it is so easy to get wrapped up in all the bull shit that is life, but if you can, and I know you can, try really, really hard to live out your dreams and do those things that you have been putting off. Make your dash count.

"The Dash" 
I read of a man who stood to speak 
at a funeral of his friend. 
He referred to the dates on her tombstone 
from beginning ... to the end. 
He noted that first came the date of his birth 
and spoke of the second with tears, 
but he spoke that what mattered most of all 
was the dash between those years. 
For that dash represents all that time 
that he spent alive here on earth 
and now only those who love him 
know what this little line is worth. 
For it matters not how much we own; 
the cars, the house, the cash. 
What matters most is how we live and love 
and how we spend our dash. 
Do think about this long and hard, 
Are there things you like to change? 
For you'll never know how much time is left. 
So when you're eulogy is being read 
with your lives actions rehashed, 
would you be pleased with the things they have to say 
and how you spend your dash?



I am dating myself with this picture but here I am with my friend, Dave. Just enjoying life and neither of us having a clue about what is waiting for us around the corner. I don't know where the rest of my days will take me but I know Dave will be disappointed in me if I did not try to honor him by making the most out of my remaining days. Rest in Peace Dave Freer. You will most certainly be missed.












I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

20 comments:

kylie said...

bugger!

for everyone

Rajeev Misra said...

Sorry bro, that sucks. Old homies from college are your some of your closest friends. Together, you went from adolescent boys to young men. They know your deepest, darkest secrets, and shared some of the best years of your life with you. Sending warm thoughts your way.

just bob said...

I'm so sorry about your friend Shife. I'll keep all of you in my thoughts.

Mr. Shife said...

Thanks Kylie, Raj, and Just Bob. I am grateful to have you guys in my life.

Phats said...

I am so sorry Shife RIP to your friend. Keeping ya in my thoughts buddy always here if you need to chat or anything

Don't unplug your hub. said...

Sorry to hear your sad news mate.Keep smiling as he would want you to do. The sentiments you express are so true.
I am a great believer in letting people know what they mean to me.

kden said...

So sorry to hear about your friend. Brothers, that's what the picture looks like to me. I'm glad you're my blogger friend ;-)

silly rabbit said...

I am so sorry to hear this news. He sounds like he meant a great deal to you, so he must have been a wonderful person.
Thank you for what you said down in "the hole". I am honored to be your friend. I will take your sage advice and pass on to my other cherished ones how much they mean to me. But please, count yourself among them.
Big hugs.

Valerie said...

Amen. Oh Matthew, I am so sorry to hear about your friend and you are right to remind us that life is short and we must speak out to those we love. God bless you (((YOU)))

Jon said...

I'm terribly sorry to hear about this. I appreciate all the kind words you left for me on my blog. I too have loved the friendship we've had over the years, and hope it continues.
It's important to for friends to know how you feel while they're here, but I'm sure your friend knew as well.

Ms. Moon said...

Dear Mr. Shife- I am so sorry to hear about this. It is the hardest part of our lives- losing those we thought would be with us for a long, long time.
And you are completely right- we need to let the ones we love and care about know that. The older I get, the more apt I am to tell people that I love them, to make sure that every one I come in contact with, even strangers, I try to make at true and human connection, no matter how briefly.
I am sorry for your sorrow, for the vast space your friend's death will leave on this earth. Try to fill it with love. I'm thinking about you.

texlahoma said...

Sorry Mr. Shife, a lot of people really care about you. Keep strong.

Posey said...

Thinking of you...

billy pilgrim said...

well said mr shife. i had a cousin die in an auto accident a few days ago and i'm feeling the same way but sadly i'll probably be like a dog chasing his tail again in a few weeks.

be kind to yourself.

Terry Joy said...

Mr. Shife...
They say time heals and when the loss is fresh and new, I say "yeah, right." The Dash says it all. That was read at my father's memorial and my brother in laws memorial party las Feb. What we do with our dash is what matters. Thinking of you and wishing comfort and peace

angel, jr. said...

This was beautifully said. May he rest in peace!!

Kenneth Noisewater said...

Dave looked like a fun-loving guy, and if he was a friend of yours, he is a friend of mine.

Hope you get better news the rest of the year.

Jeff said...

Matt: One of the best things I've ever read on a blog. I never had a chance to meet Dave in Mtn. Home, but seeing your comments as well as others on Facebook, I realize it was my loss. So much of life can be elusive, it sounds like Dave was one of the special one's, he left his mark. Take care.

Jeff said...

Matt: One of the best things I've ever read on a blog. I never had a chance to meet Dave in Mtn. Home, but seeing your comments as well as others on Facebook, I realize it was my loss. So much of life can be elusive, it sounds like Dave was one of the special one's, he left his mark. Take care.

Jeff said...

Matt: One of the best things I've ever read on a blog. I never had a chance to meet Dave in Mtn. Home, but seeing your comments as well as others on Facebook, I realize it was my loss. So much of life can be elusive, it sounds like Dave was one of the special one's, he left his mark. Take care.