Home > Death, Family, Friends, Love, Parenting, Personal > On my very last day

On my very last day

LinkedIn just informed me of a former colleague’s ten-year work anniversary. It invited me to leave him a congratulatory comment.

Instead, I thought about how he’s not around to celebrate this anniversary. Barely older than me, he went to bed sick a few months ago and never woke up.

My eyes were fixed on LinkedIn’s prompt, but my mind flowed onward.

How would he have spent his last day, if he knew it as his last? (If only, if only.)

How would I spend my last day, if I knew it was my last?

The questioned seemed unanswerable for a few seconds, after which I suddenly understood:

I would spend that day frolicking, laughing with, and loving my boys so hard they could never forget the feeling.

I’d spare only a few moments for a couple of other farewells.

First, I would call or FaceTime my family members by blood and love alike. I would let them know how much I love them and how grateful I am for the light they cast for me along my road.

I would write one last email before stepping away from my inbox forever.

Beloved friends,

I won’t be able to reply to you anymore, starting right now.

If you feel compelled to reply to this email, send your message directly to Anthony. Share your favorite memories of me. Please include the cranky ones as well as the fun and funny ones! Y’all know I could be cantankerous, and I want my husband to know about all of it so he can tell my sons and they can someday know me as well as you do.

If you have words left over, write someone else you love to tell them how much you love them. And then tell someone else, and another someone else, over and over again until you are too tired to write one more word.

I leave this world loving you and glad to have been loved by you.

On to the next adventure!

With love, eternally,


Remembering Kelvin

  1. February 17, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    An amazing post.

  2. February 17, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Beautiful. It’s worth it to reflect on how we’d spend our last day. I would live it so much more in the moment than I do typically.

    Now excuse me, I have to go hug my girls.

    • February 17, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      Hear that. There is so much noise day to day; much of it is necessary when many more days are expected … so that it was sweet, and good, for me to consider how I would really parse it down if I had just hours left.

      I cannot wait to get home and snuggle with my little ones! (The big one, too.)

  3. February 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you. Today I spent my day doing exactly that with my boys…

  4. Dreamer9177
    February 17, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    So very often we forget to live until it is too late.

  5. February 17, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Simple, straightforward, full of heart. Love the picture! 🙂

    • February 17, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you! It seemed so complex in those seconds where I was confused, but then so crystal clear and utterly straightforward after that. It does my heart good to know this. Now may that knowledge guide me!

  6. February 17, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    You would be missed! I feel like we would meet for coffee or visit some artsy shows and talk for hours about everything under the sun.

  7. February 17, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    I can’t think of a better way to spend that last day. For you, or for everyone who loves you.

  8. February 17, 2016 at 9:23 pm


  9. February 17, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    It sounds like the ideal way to spend your last day. I can’t decide whether it would be better to know or not. I guess there are good and bad bits to both. Sorry for your loss.

    • February 26, 2016 at 4:28 am

      Kelvin and I didn’t get to interact much, but I enjoyed the interactions we did have. After posting this, I learned he spent his last day in ways I’d consider pretty ideal, with “ideal” as captured in my post. No matter how my last day goes, or whether I knew it was coming, I hope all those left behind know how much I love them. I hope this post might be a part of that.

      (As I type this, I remember hearing a friend’s mom’s last words were how she wished she had more time so she could tell everyone how much she loved them. I feel like that’s what I’ll be wishing as I go; hoping that I did enough while alive to trust that the memory of my love will endure long after my body.)

  10. February 18, 2016 at 4:45 am

    You pose a good question. I like your plan for your last day, but am left wondering exactly what I’d do. I suspect that the answer to that question might be a wake-up call about how to live my life now.

    • February 26, 2016 at 4:29 am

      Have you gotten closer? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts, if you felt like sharing them.

      • February 26, 2016 at 5:32 am

        I think I’d like to go for a walk in a city park with close friends, plan and cook a delicious meal for my husband and me, listen to some music while I email my good-bye to everyone, and then just do some yoga stretches… sit out on the porch and absorb the sounds and scents… watch a little silly TV. Just mellow out…

  11. February 18, 2016 at 5:10 am

    So many people take life for granted and never live each day like it is their last. I appreciate the hindsight you’re conveying and its a reminder that I don’t always enjoy each day, always for reasons that don’t have any significance. Thanks for the gentle push back to the right path 🙂

  12. February 18, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    It is a very courageous thought..! Let me confess that I am very very scared to know if it is my last day… there are so many things that I keep pushing everyday just to make space for other things.. If someday I get to know it is my last, I will just not be able to do justice to the things that I have been ignoring and pushing away.. One such is thing is spending time with my mother… After I read this, I am going to make sure that I give some time to her.. thanks.. it was an eye opener!!

  13. February 18, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Earlier this year I had a similar moment when FB reminded me to with “Anna” a happy birthday. My friend actually passed very quickly and unexpectedly last year. I’m going to a memorial service on Saturday for a friend’s son, 41, who recently died from the flu. Just the flu! Your words are so strong and compelling and we really ought to often consider them! Even a not-so-good day is a gift. I love the way you write!

  14. February 18, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Beautiful. ❤

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