This morning I found myself sitting in the doctor's surgery (a checkup, to confirm that I am very well) and, this being a small place, was joined by half a dozen people all of whom I know. Not unnaturally the discussion turned to health, and one of the farmers started to list the people in the community who were seriously ill. "What would you do if you were given three years to live?" he asked. Someone replied, "I would do something every day for the rest of my life for myself".
Of course, we never know how we would react to such a final prognosis, but it would be natural both to have fear, and to want to make the most of all the time we had left. For some people, the shock of the news galvanises them into a determination to achieve something, something dear to their heart, and they perform miracles of fund-raising and publicity for their particular cause. In so-doing, often they live far longer than anticipated and, just as they give joy, they find their own joy in their work.
Everyone's death comes at the right time and in the right way, determined by our soul plan and our human life journey. Within this, I believe that our attitude to life and death determine the quality of these rites of passage. Whatever time we have left on earth, to live without expectation of events or outcomes, to do our best, from our hearts, and to know that all is well, always, enhances life and sooths the soul.