That damn fear thing
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That damn fear thing

As I witness my adult children navigate the societal waters, I am more rabid about not allowing someone else to define them. One of my slender daughters sees herself as “a fat beast,” the other as “not fitting the suburban mold,” and my son is doing the “tough guy salesman” stereotype that he feels he needs to do in order to succeed in sales.

But when you are facing your death, and all the lacquer of these definitions begins chipping off, you are finally free. Free to be your true self. Your body has let you down now, so that uber-defined bicep and glutes are no longer part of your image. The glorious hair you fussed over for hours every week may now be thin and dull. The libido that was part of your “game,” is now dampened, and your voice may be quieter.

Is the thought of this freaking you out? You don’t really want to read this? (C’mon, keep reading, it won’t be that bad.)

The spark in someone’s eye is always there, as is their openhearted kindness and witty and wild sense of humor. I’ve laughed so hard that I had to excuse myself from a patients’ room. In those instances it’s usually a private joke that the patient and I share. And I’ve excused myself to “go get something in my car,” as I stand in the bushes, bent over in laughter. It’s usually prompted from a wink or a look the patient gave me; as if they are saying, “I told you this person is a piece of work!”

So make this information GOOD news! Stop the fear of dying and start living a full life. Just do it.

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