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Put it in the Drawer!

Senator John McCain’s personal assistant was interviewed about the letter McCain wrote in preparation for his own death and funeral. Along with other remarks, McCain said, “I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.” I found this story fascinating, not because of any politics, but because McCain prepared for the end of his life. We could all take a lesson. His assistant said that he wrote that letter months before his passing. He was still in the battle of his life, enduring treatment for the aggressive brain tumor. But in the fight, he recognized the need to make his final plans.

At the time of the final revision, McCain said it was complete and told his trusted aide to “put it in the drawer.” Those words grabbed me! What a simple but bold way to look at death in the face: plan as you must, then put it in the drawer! No one knows the hour or the day, no one knows who gets a reprieve or remission, no one knows who lives another moment. As we grow older, even without facing a devastating disease, we come face to face with the end. What a great relief it would be to totally prepare for that time with measures that include documenting our most important thoughts and feelings. I'm not talking about just a funeral plan, but a life statement for all those that are dear to you. Write it up, then put it in a drawer. I can only imagine the tremendous release to forge ahead and live every day with gusto. It is like finishing any major project in your life, there is such a feeling of accomplishment and relief! The rush of energy captured can be used to go on living! Join the conversation at

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