If You Had One Day Left To Live

It is almost a cliche to ask people what they would do if they knew they only had one day left. I can think of more than one time in school in which one of my instructors used this as an exercise.

Pretend you only have one day left to live. Write a story about what you do etc.

I used to hate that kind of stuff. Ok, maybe hate is too strong a word, but it rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it is because when I was younger I believed in the invincibility of youth. Maybe that is why I couldn’t or didn’t take it seriously.

The thing is that I do take it seriously now. I have buried more than one friend. I have seen death come in various forms, cancer, airplane, car accidents, terrorism and war. It is a bitter education that I would have liked to avoid, but such is life.

So now I ask myself the question, if I knew that I only had one day left to live, what would I do? The answer is hard. I am not sure. I am torn. It is an internal struggle. The obvious answer is that I’d like to spend time with the people I love.

But that is not all. I think that I’d need to be outside. I’d want to go sit on a beach and listen to the roar of the ocean. I’d want to scale a mountain and look out on the valley below. I’d need to travel to the desert and look out on a vast expanse of sand. The end of Point Break comes to mind. ignore the bad acting and look at those waves.

One day left to live- what have I learned? What do I leave behind? What kind of legacy do I leave for my children. I ask myself all of these questions and so many more.

The more than I consider this, the more that I realize that I haven’t nearly enough time. My life is going to be way too short to do everything that I need to do. I’ll do my best to get it done. I’ll try so very hard and I’ll keep fighting, but sooner or later that guy with the scythe and I will have to meet in person.

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  1. Jack's Shack August 22, 2007 at 6:42 am


    It is intriguing. If Hashem told me that tomorrow was my last day, I am not sure that I would believe it. Just not programmed to see the end.


    That is a nice thought.


    That sounds refreshing and rewarding.

  2. Miss Worldwide August 21, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    very nice post. I would have to go to the mountains, and ski on fresh powder, on a clear crisp sunny day.

  3. Michael August 21, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    I’d spend it with my wife and kids.

  4. Juggling Frogs August 21, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Typo: whose, not “who’s” Sorry!

  5. Juggling Frogs August 21, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I find the answers interesting on another level: How much of the “last day to-do list” has to do with the experience of the individual who’s tomorrow is cancelled, and how much of it is about finishing things for those who will remain?

    The balance between “spending some time outside, eating a last ice cream come” and “finishing up my memoirs/getting affairs in order” intrigues me.

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