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  • Writer's picturedennisharris04

Death Can Be a Guide


I just started watching a TV show where a family with three grown kids loses their dad tragically. He appears to each of them after his death in an observing and advising way. It doesn’t really go into whether they see him because of delusion created by coping with stress or if he is in fact back from the dead to guide. Imagine yourself in both positions in a way that is positive and in an enlightened constructive way. If you were the person who died you would have access to the things that you wanted to do and say that you never did. You would know the things you did right and now imagine if you had the wisdom of what it all meant after life. What the meaning of life really is on a very cosmic and spiritual level. Now think about what you might want to go back and say to people you didn’t. Who would you start with first? How would you guide the people you love and care about?


If you were the person who didn’t die, maybe there is some advice and encouragement you might want. If someone close to you died, what would you tell yourself? We are living in a world with uncertainty all the time and the Pandemic has escalated to levels of worldwide stress and fear that seems to be consistently on repeat. So now think back to the first part of this, realize that the majority of us will come out of this, now start asking the questions you need to be answered and thinking of the things you want to say. It may be a great way to start planning life when the world becomes more free and open to all of us again.


The best way to remember who and what we may have lost in life, is to live the best possible life you are fully capable of. Reflection during this time may help to start answering the questions you have always left in the back of your mind unanswered. Start by picking one thing you want to say to someone and one thing you want to hear. Answer the one thing you want to hear the way you envision what the best answer should or might be. We are always our best critics and the answers are a lot of times as simple as we allow them to be.


Envisioning something is a powerful tool that can be consistently utilized in every aspect of our life. One night I was watching the TV show I mentioned and was laying in bed thinking about what I would say to some of the people I have lost and the things I would share, and what they might share now. It is a profound way, and maybe to some a dark way of envisioning, but it can actually be a very unique way to motivate us.


What about if you died and could give a younger version of yourself some good advice and a pep talk? What are one or two things that really stick out? Could that advice still be followed? I thankfully have reached a point in my life where any regrets I may have had, could still be repaired or a version of the thing I didn’t do, could still be accomplished. There are a few things I might have done slightly differently or not at all. Some were not regrets as much as changing the approach in some situations with slight differences that might have gotten more rewarding outcomes.


One of the paths I took that I might do slightly differently is committing to full-time employment instead of school because I didn’t want to risk not having money. Looking back I could have customized my path by taking even one post-secondary course each year for ten years.

I would have had the means to support myself and one year of post-secondary completed at the end of ten. It is even easier to do that now and I have by taking courses online and eventually I went back to school for a career.


Think about the questions we could answer by making small changes first that we could do consistently. Realistic visions could easily be a reality by setting goals that are achievable by asking ourselves the right questions. I might start by organizing both positive accomplishments and things I fell short on that I may have approached differently. You could write down a bunch of questions for each and try to answer them. For example, when I ran my company it was successful and afforded me a lifestyle that allowed me to start a family while living comfortably. I could think of a couple things I would have tweaked and would suggest if I was giving myself advice now. I could use that advice for the next company that I might start.


The above-mentioned show in my opinion can serve as a unique and somewhat time-sensitive way of learning from the past and getting our shit together for the future. We have the ability to take the current state of the world by the horns, sort of speak, and eventually take that deep exhale with a new thought-out life plan ready to go.


Everyone has been recently made to slow down by what is going on in the world, what a great time for reflection and sharing. When COVID has subsided and the gates of freedom have opened again, we each have an obligation to ourselves to be ready with the ultimate list on how we want to live out our days. Then we need to be prepared to follow it, even if that means stopping, slowing down, and reflecting on our current state for motivation.


Sometimes it takes extreme things to affect change, why not use Death as a guide and inspiration instead of our greatest fear? Our leaders seem to struggle to find the answers every day, so do all of us. We need to build new beginnings by approaching how we internalize our reality because we now have the unusual freedom or the lag time that we would usually not have. It starts with each of us and what we will give and take away from this life, which seems to go by so quickly. Especially when you are doing what you want, so what did you do with the slow down of everything that the universe has forced?

Now if I go back to the show example again and ask you to really start thinking. How will your business look now? Are you doing something that will make you happy even when times are miserable? I personally love the fact I have rediscovered some things I used to do that somewhere along life's path I stopped because I developed such a driven perspective on the necessity of making money. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful, but sometimes we have to slow down and ask what the ultimate cost is. People thought I was crazy when I gave up a large salary in an industry that I had a good reputation in, to go back to school to pursue a bucket-list industry I always had in my mind. That job didn’t allow me to reach people like I anticipated and started looking for other ways to use my energy and voice. Recently with everything going on in the world, my job slowed down even more with less tasks to go around, and I found myself making less of a difference. I was forced to take stock of everything I was doing and I am thankful I found some passions that burn bright again and feel like I can help more.


This show brought both positive and negative feelings when I stopped to think, but that’s what good art does. It provokes thought. I started thinking about the deaths in my life that induced change.


My mom died when she was thirty-nine and that always made me feel like I was always a little behind on my accomplishments because time may run out. People think that is sad when I tell them. To me, it was the most positive way to deal with losing someone and really live my life on my terms. Even as I get older, slowing down in some ways feels like I’m letting myself down if I don’t keep learning and living to the fullest. I think we all need to take a moment and figure out what it really means to be happy and what we can contribute. What unique gift do we bring? Think of someone that might encourage you to bring your special attributes out.


Pick someone that would be a good guide even with some imperfections. Make your list of questions starting from your earliest age that you can remember something significant that you want to own, good or bad. Start healing and progressing on terms that you set and can live up to. Great way to start. Nothing is ever too late, there is always a version or a piece that you can create of something you want to achieve or fix.


You may have felt like you have wanted to apologize to someone for years, let’s assume you do, and they tell you to Fuck Off. At least you owned it and did something you probably should have if it had been on your mind for a while.


Imagine something a little brutal now, you are on your deathbed and the guide you imagined comes to see at that moment. That person says, ”you didn’t follow any of my advice or your own, why?”. You are laying there with regret. Why? I think the fear of death would be somewhat less daunting if you were laying there feeling complete because you did follow your heart. You had exhausted the effort to at least pursue the things you wanted in life and that you did your best to treat people the way you wanted to be treated. It’s really an old story told with different interpretations, but effective if you allow yourself to imagine all the outcomes. It all becomes a little better when each of us imagines our own outcomes, be truthful with ourselves, and answer the bell. After all, what if this is the only shot we get at this thing we call life?


By the way, writing and sharing with you now is one of my rediscovered passions and would be on the list if I hadn’t rediscovered it. Good luck and I hope that you achieve all the great things you are after in this crazy world.



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