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Life’s Shorter Than You Think

September 28, 2011

Yesterday I woke to the news that a lady I greatly admired and who had been a mentor of mine had finally succumbed to ovarian cancer. I could not stop crying all day. I’d never met her in person but had corresponded through the web for over four years now. She always had a witty outlook on life and gave me encouragement to pursue my dream of writing. In fact she was the first ever author to give me feedback and help me develop my abilities in that area. I am forever indebted to her for helping me not give up. Sara was a genuine person. She didn’t mince words, and I know some people might not have liked her ‘tell-it-how-it-is’ attitude, but I did.

Sara was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 4 years ago, she shared on her blog a great post about how people who are sick/dying are often expected to face the pain with dignity and not to make a fuss or upset others. Please take the time to read it, I wish I could copy it in its entirety and post it up here, instead I’ll give you to link – Sara’s Blog – The Silence of Dying.

Sara’s books are amazing and confronting all at the same time, she wrote under the pen name Sara Douglass, bringing fantasy stories to life on the page for me. She was a prolific writer and I haven’t met a book of hers I haven’t liked.

Her death reminded me of my own parents passing. Dad had suffered emphysema for years and finally it was too much for his body to cope with. I wish Sara’s post was available back then and I understood what he was really going through, the brave face he put on for us at the end really wasn’t what he or we needed, he was 56. My mother passed away suddenly six months after I had my twins. She’d been with me that day and turned to me and said that she was extremely tired, she’d never felt that tired in all her life. I told her she might be getting the flu back and to go home and rest. She died in her sleep of a massive coronary, she was 57.

Why do I share this?

Because it made me sit up and realise life is shorter than I think. I don’t know when I will die, but I can sure as heck change my lifestyle to improve the odds. My parents deaths were the catalyst for me looking at my life and deciding what I was and was not willing to put up with. I started taking a serious look at myself and my health. I have young children who are going to need me to be around for a long time. Here I was living my life in a way that wasn’t helping ensure I’d stay around.

Hence the search for health. The massive 38 kg weight loss. The detoxifying of my life. And most importantly the willingness to ‘give it a go’, I no longer sit back and wait for things to happen.

Life is shorter than we all think, maybe it’s time we put our lives in order so that we can enjoy it while it lasts.

Thank you Sara, thank you for your words, for your encouragement, your wit and your never failing honesty. You will be sorely missed.

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