Death is inevitable and many of us do not know when it will come. Some have ample time to prepare, while others have no inkling at all that a simple errand to buy milk will be the last trip they will do. Hence, many people have been inspired to make their own “bucket list” as Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman did in the movie.
There are many things you must do before you die, which is based on three main purposes: to prepare, to live fully, and to leave something important behind.
First things first, be practical and settle what needs to be finalized.
- Settle your finances.
Dying can be expensive if you are not fully covered by insurance and a memorial plan. Moreover, recheck the beneficiaries of your insurance plans so that it will benefit whom you wish to give it.
- Make a will.
Even if you do not have a large estate, having a will is important because it removes the hassle of dividing your possessions. Moreover, you can put in your final instructions regarding your burial.
- Do something special for the one you love.
We often take things for granted so leaving a letter or doing something important for the ones we leave behind will surely give them comfort. I know of this husband of 48 years who arranged that his wife will continue to receive a bouquet of flowers every Valentine’s Day.
Do not carry any heavy baggage and go with a light heart.
- Initiate reconciliation.
Let old wounds fully heal through reconciling with people you considered enemies or not friends. Being hurt is as common as being happy. Life is like that with ups and down and there is no use dwelling on the ‘down’ for the ‘up’ is a much happier place.
- Regret not.
In the movie “Heart and Soul”, the souls had to complete their unfinished businesses. There was a middle-aged guy there who had regretted balking in a singing audition. He fulfilled his lifelong regret by singing, via Robert Downey Jr.’s body, the national anthem. Think about doing what you have regretted all these years so your business in life will be finished.
- See old friends.
Reconnecting with old friends gives us a sense of history. Having new friends and keeping the old is already in itself a complete package. They say friends are the real treasures worthy of earning you a spot in Forbes richest list.
- Conquer the greatest fear.
Fear is paralyzing. It hinders us from living life fully. Find out what is your greatest fear and conquer it. Only then can you truly say that you have lived a life you chose and not one that has been chosen for you.
- Give up a vice.
Being addicted to something is worst than fear. This means that you are shackled or in chains and you are not free. Free yourself from your vice, be healthy so you can enjoy life fully.
Discovering what has been lost and what life still has to offer.
- Revisit special childhood places.
Discovery entails not only a step forward but also a step backward. Rediscovering your childhood especially your favorite places will place you in the right perspective. You will discover that life is so much fun and wonderful in your innocence. On the other hand, a childhood that has seen through many dark days will allow you to be thankful for what you have achieved or will achieve. This kind of discovery, either way, can be very productive.
- Doing the things you enjoy the most
Take the time to enjoy life by doing the things you love most. In this way, you will have a quality life so play with your kids and do not work too much.
- Climb Mount Everest.
You will never get to understand how thrilling life is until you see it from the precipice of Mount Everest. Climbing this magnificent mountain is truly a life adventure you shall not miss.
- Explore the ocean.
The ocean still hides a mystery that no man can unravel. Explore its depths and wonder at its beauty. See the colorful world below in the corals of the Great Barrier Reef. On a dark night, stir the waters in the Bioluminescent Bay of Fajardo in Puerto Rico and you will be astounded by the blue glow emitted by the special plankton in the water.
- Go on a Safari adventure.
Experience being in the presence of wild creatures by visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This park in the Tanzanian Serengeti has a rich variety of wildlife that is not seen anywhere.
- Visit the Louvre
Visiting the Louvre Museum can give you a taste of history. Your life will not come full circle until you get to appreciate the past. The Louvre in Paris, France contains a number of the most acclaimed artwork in the world.
- See the Aurora Borealis
See the dancing lights of the night sky or the Aurora Borealis, which can best be seen in Alaska, Denmark or Iceland. Actually, the night stars by themselves are already a magnificent spectacle. It makes you feel so small and yet so significant. There is a much bigger world out there that has not yet been discovered and here you are so small and yet has experienced great love and joy. So find time to sleep under the stars or go to the best stargazing places in the world, which is in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile.
- Experience the thrill of flying
You can go sky diving, hang gliding in Rio, or bungee jumping above the Arkansas River for a feel of what it is like to defy gravity and be free as a bird. Not many can accomplish this feat for being land folks, we fear to fall. However, not only is flying exhilarating but it can symbolize our need to be free to live life fully.
- Redwood National Park.
There is much to be learned from trees for they have learned to live fully harnessing the nutrients of the earth without the restlessness that we human beings often have. There is a certain peace in being tree-like, content with what life has to offer and yet living fully enjoying the bounty of the earth. To see these majestic pillars of the earth, visit the Redwood National Park. You may be also inspired to plant a tree yourself so that younger generations can come up to your tree and be amazed.
- See the sunset in Santorini, Greece.
Find peace at the end of the day by watching the fiery display of colors of the sun in the sky as it prepares to set. There is more to see on the island of Thira and Therasia. Nature has truly blessed this region for here you can see creation at its best.
The final things to do before you die are those that help you leave your mark in this world.
- Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless
Find time to share your blessings with people you do not know. Many times, our good deeds to family and friends are easily re-paid or rewarded. Helping a stranger by simply providing a meal can give you a good feeling.
- Make a dream come true.
I am sure you have dreams and some of those have come true while others have not. Imagine if a stranger came to you to fulfill your dream, how would that feel? You can change a person’s life for good by believing in his dream and investing on it. Naturally, pick your candidate wisely so that the fulfillment of his dreams can be paid forward. A good deed can easily beget another good deed.
Dying is not the end, but a beginning of another chapter. Make sure that you will live this present chapter of your life in the best way you can. Carpe Diem!