Sign InMy Account

Your Last Goodbye…

Posted By: Randy GageJune 6, 2021

Recently I said my last goodbye to someone I love.  She’s not gone yet, but it was the last chance to see her before the cancer takes her away.  The time spent with her, the rest of my family, and the hospice care workers demonstrated yet again what a difficult time we have with death and dying, and especially, talking about it.  As the horizon in front of me keeps getting closer than the one behind me, I find myself confronted with the realities of death far too often.  It something you will have to face too, if you haven’t already.  And like all tragedy in life (and death), we must look for the lessons that reveal hidden blessings – and better prepare us to savor the moments of joy that we are blessed with. 

One of the things country music does better than most genres is storytelling.  One of my all-time favorite songs is Tim McGraw’s beautiful “Live Like You Were Dying.” (It was written by the songwriting team of Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman and won both single and song of the year in 2004.) In the song, the singer is questioning someone who received a terminal diagnosis what they did upon receiving the news.  Their haunting reply was…

I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
And he said
Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying

As I sat with my loved one, she spoke of simple pleasures such as playing with a puppy, the places she always wanted to travel, and seeing one more NY Yankees game.  It was the most touching, poignant conversation we’ve ever had together, and one I will treasure forever. 

When I checked my phone back at the hotel, it turns out millions of people weren’t appreciating life quite the same way.  They seem to believe the most important things in life are Twitter mobs, virtue signaling, and making snarky Facebook posts. I desperately wanted to jump through the Internet, grab them by their collars and scream, “Do you really think any of this shit is important?”  Of all the gifts I’ve received in my life, perhaps the most important was getting shot and left for dead.  (Or maybe getting diagnosed HIV positive in 2006.)  Because these wake-up calls changed my philosophy, to one of living like I was dying. 

May you live a long, joyful, and prosperous life.  But however long you’ve got, please don’t miss the moments that matter. 

Shut off your phone once in a while and be present with someone.  Spend some quality time being present with yourself.  And, for fuck’s sake, stop allowing yourself to be manipulated like a puppet to fuel the culture wars.  At your funeral, no one is going to talk about your clever tweets.  Or if they do, you wasted your life.

What song lyrics would you write if faced with your last goodbye? 

Maybe it’s not skydiving but learning to paint.  Maybe you don’t want to climb a mountain, but you always meant to write that book.  You probably don’t have the desire to ride a raging bull but would relish another 2.7 seconds with someone you have loved and lost.

Please.  Savor the moments.

Live a life that matters.  To you, your loved one, and the world around you.  Be ashamed to die before you’re certain you made the world even a little bit better, because you were here.  

My family isn’t known for our ability to process emotions or show affection.  I called my grandfather by his given name George and he would shake my hand when we met after a long absence.  It took four years of therapy for me to even be able to say “I love you” to anyone.  Imagine my immeasurable elation when I hugged my aunt, held her hand and told her “I love you” – and this woman who could never say I love you or even sign it on a card – squeezed my hand back with all the energy her emaciated body could muster and replied, “I love you so much!” 

It was enough.

- RG

Previous post: Fighting the Polarizing Culture Wars

14 comments on “Your Last Goodbye…”

  1. I love this. My brother died when I was 11 and both my parents were gone by the time I was 35.

    I’ve had a front row seat to that awareness.

    Losing everyone so young made me fearful in many ways and fearless in others.

    My whole family died with unrealized dreams. I think that’s so we can look forward to them in the next lifetime and the next and the next….

    My song choices: BURGS by MT. WOLF:

    …..
    you'll discover how extraordinary a life was meant to be

    And it’s just we get so messy, …
    Our mind is so messy

    We don't keep it simple
    And we end up making the life that we are living, so in-ordinarily complicated

    Completely unnecessarily, and it's such a shame to end up feeling, in a real muddle

    When actually, you ought to be having the time of your lives

    It doesn't actually take very much to make the deepest part of us incredibly happy

    Just to be here, just to appreciate
    Appreciate being here…

    p.s. I love you.

    1. I love you too Randy. What a powerful reminder of how thankful and blessed I am to have come from a huggy kissey family, where ‘saying ‘“I love you “ was habitual. What a blessing it is that my sisters and I, still do it now. They’ve passed this on to their children and grandchildren. And I, the proud auntie, get to share the hugs, kisses, and I love yous with them and others.

  2. I'm so thrilled for you that you were able to say "I LOVE you, and that you were able to hear her say "I LOVE you so much!"

    What a wonderful gift you were able to share with each other!

    Thank you for sharing this Randy. Love and Hugs for you.

  3. I've been listening to this song almost every day after it was mentioned in a struthless video. Seems like a good way to get the message to sink in.

    The gist of it is that time is going to pass no matter what you do, so the best you can do is trade that time for something of value - learning something, creating something, etc.

    Jeffrey Lewis - Time Trades
    https://youtu.be/yBdka6rahH8

  4. The last day my father died, I said I love you and he replied with a tear. He had stroke and was bedridden with feeding tubes. The pain never goes away but it gets easier as days goes by. The song for me is Remember Me from Coco.

  5. This post is everything. Thank you for sharing your own personal pain in your Aunt’s battle with cancer.
    My husband is also fighting late stage cancer, it’s an insidious disease. But it does come with gifts if you get to have conversations that never would have happened, get to see who you need to be appreciative of in your life and who to let go from your circle. I’ve always been a very straightforward and emotionally expressive person, my husband is not. Talking about death and dying has changed that before it’s too late.
    Thank you for telling it like it is. I hope your family is able to find some peace and comfort in the coming days, weeks and months.

  6. I am so very deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing with us such an important life lesson. May she Rest in Power.

  7. Thinking of you during this rough time in your life. I'm elated you and your sweet (lucky) aunt were able to exchange "I love yous." My heart goes out to you and your family. I love YOU, RG!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. P.S. that Tim McGraw song was dedicated to his dad, Tug McGraw, the baseball player who was dying of a brain tumor.

  8. I had an aunt who made me feel special in a positive self dimension way; I can relate to the moment/conversation you had with your aunt who's passing Randy.

    I held my aunts hand as my uncle - her sibling - played the organ at a family dinner 5 decades after the few years my aunt would pick up my sister and I to go curling every sunday.

    She was was pure love then, I did my best to return it to her in her nineties.

    Who cares if my siblings or cousins thought :oh- brownie points there from holding my aunts hand..lol

    special moments, and thankYOU for this reminder!

  9. I am so, so sorry for your loss Randy. Thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts with us. Much of what we have said I can relate to. My head is buzzing from the last few weeks with your thoughts on Saturday Sessions on Prosperity Livestream. Peace

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Generic selectors
    Exact matches only
    Search in title
    Search in content
  • Stay Connected

    Subscribe to Randy’s Blog via Email
  • Recent Posts

  • 14 comments on “Your Last Goodbye…”

    1. I love this. My brother died when I was 11 and both my parents were gone by the time I was 35.

      I’ve had a front row seat to that awareness.

      Losing everyone so young made me fearful in many ways and fearless in others.

      My whole family died with unrealized dreams. I think that’s so we can look forward to them in the next lifetime and the next and the next….

      My song choices: BURGS by MT. WOLF:

      …..
      you'll discover how extraordinary a life was meant to be

      And it’s just we get so messy, …
      Our mind is so messy

      We don't keep it simple
      And we end up making the life that we are living, so in-ordinarily complicated

      Completely unnecessarily, and it's such a shame to end up feeling, in a real muddle

      When actually, you ought to be having the time of your lives

      It doesn't actually take very much to make the deepest part of us incredibly happy

      Just to be here, just to appreciate
      Appreciate being here…

      p.s. I love you.

      1. I love you too Randy. What a powerful reminder of how thankful and blessed I am to have come from a huggy kissey family, where ‘saying ‘“I love you “ was habitual. What a blessing it is that my sisters and I, still do it now. They’ve passed this on to their children and grandchildren. And I, the proud auntie, get to share the hugs, kisses, and I love yous with them and others.

    2. I'm so thrilled for you that you were able to say "I LOVE you, and that you were able to hear her say "I LOVE you so much!"

      What a wonderful gift you were able to share with each other!

      Thank you for sharing this Randy. Love and Hugs for you.

    3. I've been listening to this song almost every day after it was mentioned in a struthless video. Seems like a good way to get the message to sink in.

      The gist of it is that time is going to pass no matter what you do, so the best you can do is trade that time for something of value - learning something, creating something, etc.

      Jeffrey Lewis - Time Trades
      https://youtu.be/yBdka6rahH8

    4. The last day my father died, I said I love you and he replied with a tear. He had stroke and was bedridden with feeding tubes. The pain never goes away but it gets easier as days goes by. The song for me is Remember Me from Coco.

    5. This post is everything. Thank you for sharing your own personal pain in your Aunt’s battle with cancer.
      My husband is also fighting late stage cancer, it’s an insidious disease. But it does come with gifts if you get to have conversations that never would have happened, get to see who you need to be appreciative of in your life and who to let go from your circle. I’ve always been a very straightforward and emotionally expressive person, my husband is not. Talking about death and dying has changed that before it’s too late.
      Thank you for telling it like it is. I hope your family is able to find some peace and comfort in the coming days, weeks and months.

    6. I am so very deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing with us such an important life lesson. May she Rest in Power.

    7. Thinking of you during this rough time in your life. I'm elated you and your sweet (lucky) aunt were able to exchange "I love yous." My heart goes out to you and your family. I love YOU, RG!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. P.S. that Tim McGraw song was dedicated to his dad, Tug McGraw, the baseball player who was dying of a brain tumor.

    8. I had an aunt who made me feel special in a positive self dimension way; I can relate to the moment/conversation you had with your aunt who's passing Randy.

      I held my aunts hand as my uncle - her sibling - played the organ at a family dinner 5 decades after the few years my aunt would pick up my sister and I to go curling every sunday.

      She was was pure love then, I did my best to return it to her in her nineties.

      Who cares if my siblings or cousins thought :oh- brownie points there from holding my aunts hand..lol

      special moments, and thankYOU for this reminder!

    9. I am so, so sorry for your loss Randy. Thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts with us. Much of what we have said I can relate to. My head is buzzing from the last few weeks with your thoughts on Saturday Sessions on Prosperity Livestream. Peace

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    © 2020 Prosperity Factory, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Legal Information, Sitemap, Site by PrimeConcepts