My own mother died Sunday, after a long, slow decline from dementia. I visited the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C. the day before she died, remembering a lot of our family history. I am watching Margaret Thatcher (aka Meryl Streep) suffer from dementia on film in "The Iron Lady," as I write. Life is so full of ups and downs, and sometimes they are the same thing. What is a hurt can be a blessing and vice versa. It was a blessing being able to care for her and a burden. It was hard and good. What is worthwhile isn't always easy.
Once again, attitude is everything-in life and in death. While one person succumbs to tragedy, another writes a memoir. Think Anne Frank. While one person sees impossible odds and backs out, another sees the mountain ahead and climbs it. As hard as it is to grapple with death, it can be our best challenge. The goal is leave a legacy of role modeling, ideas, spirit or anything valuable before leaving the world. The idea is to take a lesson, positive or negative (or both) from those who have left.
Perspective, balance, love, courage, integrity in life and in death. These values serve as good guides. Death etches them deeply onto our minds.