The Best Death Ever

You are a goal-setting machine.

That’s not to say you are setting, working toward, and accomplishing more goals than anybody else. It’s the way your brain is wired. If that’s the case, why is it that reaching your goal can leave you feeling lost?

In 2006 I had a life-changing moment that happened in the middle of the night. My wife, Sheryl, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and my world crashed. Even worse, they told me there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

In my world, those a fighting words.

The following six weeks were a whirlwind of miracle searching activity, including a trip to Costa Rica for alternative treatment. As the weeks passed, the reality of what was coming became real. Sheryl would not survive. We called Hospice.

In the coming days, we settled into a routine that no family ever wants to go through, and that gave me the idea to call a family meeting.

Together with my kids around my wife’s bed, I proposed a new goal.

“If this is going to happen, why don’t we make it the best death ever?”

The initial response was silence – until my wife said,

“Well, if I’m going to go through this, we should enjoy the experience – right?”

From that point forward, even in the most challenging moments, we all lived life to the fullest. Family, friends, everybody in our circle knew the goal and did their part to help us reach it.

Exactly 100 days from diagnosis, Sheryl passed away.

It hurt like nothing any of us had ever experienced. Still, we found ourselves with a warm feeling about how we had handled things. In time, our conversations turned to our goal of making it the best death ever. We realized we had achieved it.

That the thing about goals…

All the excitement of setting a goal happens while you’re in the middle of your journey – and you are always in the middle of your journey.

Easy or difficult. When you choose to pursue a plan, the destination doesn’t matter except that it serves as a starting point for your next journey.

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