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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Are you living your best life?

Friends are so precious, and losing one is so painful.  An old university friend of mine was killed in a hit and run accident on holiday last week.  I wanted to take a moment and use this space to honour his memory.  Part of me feels this is too personal to share, part of me thinks it is too important not to.  I hope you don't mind.

Matt was one of life's good people.  I hate it that I have written that in the past tense. He should have had much much more time.

He was a big strong rugby player with a heart to match.  I have been reminiscing about a big adventure we shared several years ago when I joined him and two other guys on a crazy road trip around New Zealand.  We were three strapping lads and a wandering girl with a rucksack bigger than herself packed into a tiny car.  We got stuck (in a ford), got drunk (on cheap beer), got lost (in the mountains), and I even got a shoulder ride into town.  Those boys gave me the courage to do my first terrifying bungee jump, and wisely advised me not to look down as we sped around narrow mountain paths.  We traversed a glacier, ate mooncake at a stranger's party and hung out on a kiwi farm.  But more than anything, we laughed.  A lot.

Along with the gripping shock and hollow sadness of losing a friend to a freak accident comes a deep questioning and reflection on our own lives.  Do we tell those we love that we love them enough (and do we love them enough?)  Do we really spend our precious moments doing what we love, making ourselves happier and bringing more happiness to others as a result?  Do we pick up the phone, write that letter, get on that plane, live that adventure, follow that dream? As Oprah would say, are we living our best lives?  I've been here before (in my very first post on this blog), but I am back again.

It shouldn't take a tragedy for us to do just that, but often, sadly, it does.  There is nothing anyone can do or say to make loss any easier to handle or understand.  There is no fairness, and no reason.  Three are many questions, but no answers. 

To honour and celebrate the big life of my friend, I want to revisit that question and commit to making a few small changes (and maybe a couple of big ones) that will allow me to completely and absolutely say YES, I am living my best life, every day, every hour, every minute.  Won't you join me?

Goodbye MD, you will be missed so very much


  1. Oh Beth, I'm so sorry to hear about your dear friend. It's so true that it seems so wrong that it takes these terribly tragic events to really make us stop and think seriously about life and how precious it is, but it does seem to be a common theme.

    I will join you in making changes, heck yes!

    Wishing you comfort at this time. x

  2. I am so sorry to hear this. But grateful to you reminding me to live my best life, and I finally feel that I am truly on my way to doing that.

    Thank you.


  3. Thanks, Beth. This is beautiful...and a lovely reminder of what life can/should mean to us all....

  4. i am so saddened to hear about your loss and this post is a wonderful tribute to your friend...

    sending you thoughts of comfort and healing =-)

  5. My best wishes for your sadness ..... and
    YES!!! I want to accompany you, the journey seems refreshing and wonderful.

  6. Hi sweetie, I'm so sorry, this is a tragic loss. Really does remind us how precious life is when a shock like this hits us and someone is taken so young. My thoughts are with you as you remember all the fond memories of your friend and yes I am so with you in asking ourselves that question and taking that step. We really do take life for granted sometimes so lets not worry about the little things and try to live each day fully, with love and kindness.... lots of love xxx

  7. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I have been struggling with this very thing since my father died in December. All the questions, all the regrets. The very things you posted about have been in sharper focus for me lately. I read something once that said, "No one spends time on their deathbead wishing they were loved less." That really struck a cord with me. Here's to living our best lives and sharing what we learn along the way.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss, My thoughts are with you and your friend. It was a lovely tribute. We should all give thanks every day and tell our loved ones that too.

  9. Heartsink. How sad. How cruel. How utterly tragic. I'm so sorry. Big love to you as you figure out how to come to terms with this heartbreaking loss. Kathy x

  10. Sending you big hugs Beth. Losing friends is the hardest thing I've ever gone through.

    What a wonderful tribute you have written.

    Be kind to yourself my friend, I think you are indeed living your best life.

  11. I'm very sorry Beth.
    It's good that you honour his life with your memories.

  12. May love and grace surround you with the wonderful memory of your dear, sweet friend.

  13. Dearest Beth, reading this made me teary and gave me a sweet gentle reminder of how greatful i am for my friends both in real life and online! Thank you so much for being you and sharing your friend story with us and thank you so much for such a wonderful sweet sentiment reminder of "living my best life"! Oh yes i am with you and your wonderful journey! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

  14. i'm so sorry to hear about your friend. it's so hard to lose someone we hold dear...

    i will join you in living life every day, every hour, every minute. sounds good to me.

  15. dear beth.
    i am so sorry as well as all the others at the loss of your friend.
    i suppose we all have had loses of dear ones in our lives and it is so difficult. i lost my best friend, my mom, almost 6 yrs ago and it seems like yesterday if you look at the empty void she left in my heart.
    i have also lost precious friends.
    my heart goes out to you.
    i LOVE the adventures that you had with MD...what beautiful memories to keep alive.
    thank you for braving the rawness of your emotion and sharing it with us, for in it, i am going to change.
    i love your words of encouragement and although i would NOT wish for the pain, i am grateful for the opportunity to step back and recognize how fragile life truly is and how we should treat it as a privilege.
    huge hugs your way my sister friend.

  16. Oh my dearest heart tugs as I read these words...I am so sorry for this big loss. You have shared a beautiful tribute that makes us all appreciate those moments where we could say more or do more...Thank-you for opening your heart and for giving us a glimpse of your sadness and your LOVE...

    I am so inspired by your BLOG Beth...You are a beautiful messenger...a messenger of truth.

    Lots of LOVE and hugs,

    Danielle xoxo

  17. OMGOsh! I am so sorry for your loss....
    I think it's always a good thing to learn from experiences like the sudden loss of a friend.

  18. Hi Auntie Beth! I just wanted to let you know that my Daddy says he only met your friend a few times and he was a lovely is truely tragic but his memory will continue to bring smiles to many faces.
    I thought I would reasure you that I am living my life to the max and have enjoying all nine months and three days. Today I picked and ate a daisy. Yesterday my Mummy went round and round the garden and then tickled me..I liked it so much I learned a new giggle! Tomorrow I am going to get up when I fancy, have some cuddles with Mummy and Daddy, eat some home made cottage pie, sing along to the summer song on CBeebies and sleep with my teddy.
    I hope you and uncle Paul are having a great holiday and enjoying the world cup..I think I like it but prefer Chuggington! Anyway Daddy said he has a made a pledge to send you a monthly mini video update about me!! He also wanted to let you know he has fulfilled a childhood dream today as at work he learned to drive a fork lift truck...keep your dreams safe Auntie Beth and don't forget to cuddle those you love xxx

  19. beth, i am sorry for your loss. this is my first time commenting, but want you to know that i am with you.


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