All  Beings  Everywhere

Year to Live


Is This Really Your Last Year?

It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but I believe that there can be no better way to learn to live fully than to live with a sense of the immediacy and the impermanence of it all. After all, wiser men & women than I have undertaken similar quests since the beginning of time. Many of them have been transformed by it.

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Go Home and Put All of Your Affairs in Order

Tonight begins my “Year to Live” journey. Twenty-five of us are assembled in an open loft space in SoHo, sitting on black plastic folding chairs, facing the front of the room.

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Words of Wisdom From Another “Year To Live” Adventurer … in 1938

This essay was written by a 17-year old in 1938. It’s a passionate look at the 5 things the young man wants from life before he dies … Doing something truly great; friendship; travel; love; and — yes — even sorrow.

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Saying Goodbye To a Dear Friend

Deb and I have known each other for nearly 30 years. When you know someone that long, you begin to turn into sisters. If all of my goodbyes are as hard as this one, I’ll drown in a sea of tears before my final year is out.

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The Logistics of Dying Well: Health Care Proxy, Living Will & Organ Donation

Ugh. Paperwork. We’re not even exempt from it while we’re preparing to die. When our “Year to Live” teachers announced that our assignment for the month is to fill out our advance directives, I felt irritated. Kind of the way I feel as April 15 rolls around each year.

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The Nine Contemplations on Death

The nine contemplations on death come from an 11th century Buddhist scholar. They are meant to help us explore the inevitability of death. This week, I’m trying an experiment in which I read the 9 contemplations to myself before I sit for ten minutes of quiet reflection.

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A Personal Manifesto on Death

Many friends have written to me after my post on advance directives, saying that they just can’t seem to get around to signing one — even though they recognize how important it is. So I thought I’d share the inspiring “Ethical Will” of my friend Vivian Shaw…

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Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard

I spent the past couple of days noting how often my children laugh. They’re awesome at it (most of the time). Giggles turn into cracking up, which turns into unstoppable belly laughs. And just when you think they’re done, it starts all over again. I want to recapture this sense of lightness. I want to be amazed by subtlety, and to be reminded not to take this waning life too seriously.

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