“Burt, the old man, looked at me with a look I recognized. He was at peace. He was at peace with death, he was at peace with dying.”
I was working in an old folks home about 10 years after my near death experience. Burt, was a patient there. The last time I saw him “living”, he had a look in his eyes, a look that only a man who had made peace with death has.
About 45 minutes later, the nurses found him. Somehow, Burt had gotten a rubber ball that was used to prevent his fingers from digging into his palm into his mouth, he suffocated, and he died.
I don’t know how the rubber ball that helped him to die got into his mouth, I don’t know how long it had been planned, but I do know Burt knew that he was going to die.
I had seen that look before, but I didn’t know what it was. The old man who looked at me like that before was my Grandfather. I was younger then, it was before I had died and come back.
Pete, my Grandfather had cancer. He had been dying for some time. I tried to deny it. He had totally accepted it. As I walked out the door of his house, in denial, going to see my girlfriend, he sat there, in acceptance, knowing that he had made his peace with the biggest event of his life. He had made peace with his death.
Men make peace with their death.
I look around, I see grown men, trying to be teenagers again. Dressing cool, talking cool, sometimes even taking it to the extreme of going after young chicks. All trying in vein to deny death. And in denying death, they skip out on life.
I see “grown men”, attempting to skip out on death. It’s maybe the only thing more silly than skipping out on your promise and potential, yet its something I see men doing all the time.
Keep in mind here, I’m not throwing stones, and I do live in a glass house. Because the past twenty years have taught me something…
“Just because death isn’t a problem, doesn’t mean life is easily lived.”
Everyday I have countless opportunities to really live. Somedays, I live pretty darn full out. Other days, it seems as if I could have done a better job at it.
For what it’s worth, sharing this with you, and letting this show up in my trainings, for some reason invites me to live a little more.
Sharing this invites me to live a little more fully.
Sharing this invites me to live a little more completely.
Sharing this invites me to live, a little more with you.
What will you do today, as a man, to make peace
with both death and with life?
Death and life. They really can’t be separated you know.
And as far as I can tell, this ain’t something “philosophical”, it’s something…. worth…. sharing.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “how to be a man” in the subject line, and share with me your thoughts, experiences, and your transformations.
I double dog dare you.
Mr. Twenty Twenty