How Would You Feel If This Was Your Last Day On Earth?

last day on earthIt was a shock, as the news alert came over the television that James Gandolfini, the man famous for his role in the television series, The Sopranos, was dead at just 51 years old.

As they reported on the news just coming in, the one saving grace in my mind was that, he was with his family.

Since my meditation practice lately revolved around the exact question in this title, how would you feel if this was your last day on earth, the news would soon unfold some things that could add to my own person lessons as I live, and maybe for you too.

Your family and friends are important. A fellow paisan, friend or countryman in Italian, it’s important to have your own tribe. Not a tribe as relates to a social media following. Yes, that is important for business. But instead for the bigger picture of life, a tribe to which you can have the feeling of belonging at any moment and anywhere. A family tribe where you share culture, history and roots. Even though Gandolfini died away from his USA home, he died with his family. Of course no one wants to really imagine dying after all, we are here on this earth to live. But if you had to imagine it, your last day on earth that is, for me it would be heaven being surrounded with my family. I’ve actually known of families who have made that specific arrangement with what they call the good fortune of “knowing” it’s your time. Not sure how that we be relaxing for the family members who still have to return to life, but it gives you pause to think about.

Relaxing, actually disconnecting is necessary. As just noted, how much more pleasant can you imagine a peaceful death than while vacationing with family? But how much time are we disconnecting these days? Maybe you are feeling “wired” with being tethered to your cell phone, your computer, your social media networks. Well how about planning to disconnect from them? Just for time enough to take a break from your work, your wiredness and I bet, you’ll feel recharged. Don’t worry what others might think. Just do it.

Let you passion pour into your work. My only real familiarity with the actor was with The Sopranos.

My husband and I were hooked on the series even though I would more often than not walk out on the violent scenes. It’s possible because of being of Italian heritage, or just feeling the actor communicate warmth and humor through a ruthless, rough character. Then as the news alert unfolded I learned this man was also in a number of other films and getting to be debuted in yet a new film.

Take care of your health. One of the first things my husband stated when the news confirmed it was a heart attack, “It likely could have been either prevented or delayed. Just look at me.” My husband knows the risks of smoking, high cholesterol and heart diseases having survived two open-heart surgeries and 3 angioplasties before he was 50 years old. Gandolfini took high risks with life in both his movies and his life – risks in life like smoking and over weight. Studies suggest that just 15 minutes of exercise can add about 3 years to a person’s life. Just do the math for yourself.

I’d rather have no regrets in the case of family, relaxing, working with passion and taking care of myself when I leave this life. So my lessons were validated in some strange way with this news.

What about you? How would you feel if this was your last day on earth?

Oh wait. Don’t answer.

Just go meditate about it to see what comes up for you.


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  1. Jeannette Paladino

    Pat — I think the Sopranos was one of the most brilliantly written and acted series on television. I felt a deep sense of loss at James Gandolfini’s passing. He played a gangster — but, if it’s possible to do, he humanized the man. I consider myself particularly blessed to have a large and loving family and a small circle of really close friends. On my last day on earth, if I could arrange it, I’d take them all out to dinner to say my last good-byes and thank them for all their love and support over the years.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…So You Thought Social Media Would Increase Your Sales. Think Again.My Profile

  2. Talk about an attention-getting headline! I’ve never watched the Sopranos, but undoubtedly missed out on a great show and a great talent.
    Jeri recently posted…Book Review: Discovering the Writer WithinMy Profile

  3. Pat, I would feel absolutely fine. Probably sounds odd. But when I was 20 years old people close to me started dying. The worst was daddy when I was 22. So I sorted out the concept of death in my mind and in my late 20s I suddenly realised that I was not afraid of dying. It’s one of the most natural things in life. Am not afraid of living or dying. But anything in between I’m not interested in. That’s what I find freighening.
    Catarina recently posted…Do you like Harvard’s new approach to leadership?My Profile

    • Catarina it actually sounds familiar. I remember hearing Wayne Dyer in one of his PBS talks, Power of Intention, comment similarly about not being attached to or concerned of dying and leaving his family behind.
      PatriciaWeber recently posted…How Would You Feel If This Was Your Last Day On Earth?My Profile

      • Pat, I honestly think you can only feel that way if you have through personal experiences made death a friend of yours. Maybe that applies to Wayne W Dyer?

        Don’t think we can completely get rid of attachments to whatever it it we are attached to. Making friends with death however, is something far more profound. It makes you realise that most things in life are not really important and makes you more prone to take risks.
        Catarina recently posted…Do you thrive in the social era?My Profile

        • Dyer did come close to dying a few years ago, although I think because of his deep spiritual practices and studying so many spiritual leaders is how he has come to this level of belief. He has a terrific little excerpt on YouTube, Learn to Die While You Are Alive. Brilliant story telling. It’s either a deeply evolved belief, or something he personally experienced.
          PatriciaWeber recently posted…You Put Me Into Your Google Circles, I’ll Add You to Mine – Not So QuickMy Profile

          • Have more or less the same sort of experience as he has. Was unconsious once in London for 48 hours. and am not sure how I survived a car crash in Riyadh.

            Have also had a keen interest in the meaning of life. Sometimes dream things that happen and have always been interested in talking to spiritual people from all religions. Have hence for instance sat and talked to holy men high up in the Himalayas. There is more to life than meets the eye. Exactly how it works I don’t know and for some reason we are not supposed to know.
            Catarina recently posted…Do you like Harvard’s new approach to leadership?My Profile

  4. I agree it was very sad news indeed about James Gandolfini. It’s funny, I’ve weighing in on this very same question myself. Having real friends and family that you can connect with really matters and gives me a sense of belonging and feeling valued in some way. For whatever reason A friend I lost a number of years ago is heavily on my mind. I think it is focusing me on what is really important. Business is important, but taking care of our relationships, health and self should be right next to that, not after. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Shifting Gears: Story (Podcast)My Profile

  5. Pat — I loved watching the Sopranos and couldn’t wait until they came on Sunday’s night. It was not only well written by the acting was superb.When I heard of the death of James Gandolfini it was like, Oh I can’t believe it. He was so real in the actors he played. Even though he played the gangster role, over the years I read it was like a teddy bear.
    My last day on earth is to have my family with me. Family is the most important element of your life. Friends can come and go but family is forever.

  6. Geek Girl

    All very interesting stuff. Death does not hold the same fear for me as it once did for the same reasons already stated. I died and I remember it very well. I was actually startled when I woke up in the recovery room following surgery. It was like all the weight of the world and my cares that had been lifted when I died returned and smacked me in the face. I have had many things to ponder since then…
    Geek Girl recently posted…Letters from grandma Audio chapter: morning sicknessMy Profile

  7. Cheryl I don’t think I knew this about you. And what you say squares with what others who have had such an experience say. I for one, am glad you are right here with us now. Thanks.
    PatriciaWeber recently posted…Emotional Baggage Have You Waiting in a Safe Zone?My Profile

  8. My wife and I watched every episode of the Sopranos and we came to like James Gandolfini. When we saw him on TV with other cast members at an award ceremony, the light in the man just shone out.

    Sadly missed.

    There’s a saying in Ethics Of The Fathers – ‘Repent the day before you die.’ And as we do not know when that day will be, it means – ‘Change and do what you know you ought, and do it now.’
    David Bennett recently posted…Painlessly Remove Post Revisions From Your WordPress DatabaseMy Profile

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