Death (our own death) puts life into proper perspective. Things that seemed important recede into triviality when you’re dying – things like fame and money and stuff. And things we usually ignore – things like love, trust, honesty, self-giving, and forgiveness – these stand out as infinitely more important in light of death. Death’s dark light is pretty bright!
Whatever you can’t take with you is only placenta, after-birth. What you can take with you is the baby. […]
Ask yourself: what can’t you take with you? And whatever answers you find, stop worrying about them now.
Ask yourself: what can you, will you, and must you take with you? And whatever answers you find, care about those things now.
“In the evening of our lives, we will be judged on our love.” (St. John of the Cross)
The number one regret people have when dying is not having told their children or their parents how much they loved them.
The most destructive mistake in life is not forgiving, since forgiving is love’s first deed.
What will be important to you on your deathbed? Let that be important to you now. Because you are on your deathbed now. As soon as you are born, you are born onto a deathbed. Nobody gets out of this place alive. Doctor Johnson is right: the thought of your death “wonderfully calrifies the mind.” Demand clarity now.
Peter Kreeft, Before I Go: Letters to our children about what really matters, n.7, p.14-15 (United Kingdom: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007)