“Look to this day! For it is life, the very life of life.” -Kalidasa

I was visiting my mom last weekend and we went shopping together. It was special because she was treating me, and it is something we did together while I was growing up and into my adulthood. We hadn’t been able to do it alone for a while given the birth of my daughter last year. As I tried things on, and called to my mom to come check them out, I kept thinking how special such ordinary moments are in life, but how often we tend to take them for granted.

I don’t know if it is because my dad died in his early 50s and I am now only ten years younger than he was then, or some of the recent celebrity deaths/suicides, or that I’ve known of people my age who have recently left their bodies, or the birth of my daughter, but I seem to have a heightened awareness of the preciousness of life. It moves quickly and we don’t know when our final day might be, and that makes each and every day such an unbelievable opportunity. An opportunity to be better, to love harder, to be less judgmental and more inclusive.

One day several years ago, I was talking about a person whom I used to have in my life and how much love I still felt for them despite no longer seeing them, and this person I was talking to rather astutely called me out on this: “when you let someone in, you really let them in.” That’s the truth. In this crazy world of social media, people friend you and unfriend you, and like you and don’t like you in the press of a button. But, for every person that has come into my life and even out of my life, I still love them for what they’ve brought to it and I still miss them on some level.

When I first learned to meditate, which was shortly after my dad’s death and my grandmother’s death, I was traveling in India with my teacher. She reminded me that I still have a relationship with them, it’s just that the frequency and manner in which I’m in contact with them has shifted. So true, and something I have shared with others struggling with grief.

I’ll never be able to fully explain why horrible things happen to good people or why someone might leave too soon, but what I can explain is that we need to live each day to the fullest, to make the most of this time – hug often, laugh a lot, do things that scare you, be present, remind yourself to take it all in, and love people like crazy.

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