We think we have forever. If you think about it in the back of your mind, you always think it's the other person who dies, not you. Well I have news for you, We are all going to die! This is the most democratic thing that has ever happened. No matter who you are, how wealthy you are, how illustrious you are, how many degrees you have, how fouled up you've made your life, how beautiful you've made your life, you're going to die.
But why fear it? You only fear death when you're not living. If you're involved in the process of life, you won't wail and scream. If you've treated people in your life beautifully while they were alive, you will not throw yourself over thick caskets screaming, "Don't go, Don't Go!" For goodness sakes! We don't even let people die in dignity. We let them die guilty by screaming, "Oh, please don't die."
What a weird concept we have of death. We don't want to take children to funerals. Some of you had it explained that everything dies as flowers die in winter and then grow again. Death is a continuous beautiful process of life. Then when you've seen it, you don't fear it, Death is a good friend, an awfully good friend, because it tells us we don't have forever and that to live is now; therefore, you see how precious every minute is. We read it and say, "Oh yes, that's so true." But do we live that way? How wonderful it is to be with the moment when you see a flower. When somebody is talking to you, for goodness sake, listen and don't look over a shoulder at what else is going on. Cocktail time. There's no greater insult. If you don't want to be with me, don't be with me! That's all right, I can adjust to that. But if you are going to be with me, will you be with me? You say, I am going to look at the ocean." Do you look at the ocean? "Oh, isn't that a beautiful sunset." Do you mean it, do you see it, do you recognize it will never come again?
Death teaches us--if we want to hear--that the time is now. The time is now to pick up a telephone and call the person that you love. Death teaches us the joy of the moment. It teaches us we don't have forever. If teaches us that nothing is permanent, It teaches us to let go, there's nothing you can hang on to. And it tells us to give up on expectations and let tomorrow tell its own story, because nobody knows if they'll get home tonight. To me that's a tremendous challenge. Death says, "Live now."