Living Well and Loving Fully

How many people do you want at your funeral? As I write this I’m sitting in one that required a gymnasium to fit everyone in. This would seem to be one helluva measurement of a life well lived.

I knew the man only by reputation. He profoundly influenced the life of someone I dearly love. My wife and I are here for support, which is this odd thing that involves awkwardly meeting people we’ll never see again and sitting on folding metal chairs.

My heart is in the right place but my mind wanders…

How old do you want to live to be? According to my (program? What do you call the schedule of speakers they give you at a memorial service?) this amazing man lived to be 84. I hear folks saying that’s a good age.

What’s the cut off for a bad age?

I get the sense that it’s a moving target. Today I’m 48 and living to 84 seems like a great idea. Then my brain starts doing math and I get uneasy because I don’t like thinking about how much time I have left.

I want more, even when I don’t know how much I’ll get.

I’d rather think about what I’ll do then how much time I have to do it.

Reflecting on his life inspires and motivates me. It makes me wanna do even more cool stuff, which is simultaneously the solution and the problem. I push my limits progressively harder in a never ending pursuit of feeling more and more alive.

Intimacy is my drug of choice.

It seems the deceased and I have that in common. In the end, I’m guessing he looked back with a lot of pride and an overflowing sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. I want that.

He was a teacher, coach, headmaster, mentor, a great family man and a friend to hundreds. He impacted countless lives positively and the ripple effects of his life are impossible to ascertain.

My favorite quote from the speakers, “He loved being him.” Hells, yes.

How much passion is enough?

All of it. Everything else just feels like not enough living. I’m not concerned with who’ll be at my funeral one day. I just want them in my life today.

Still points. Weddings, funerals, babies – they force me to take stock. I’m making silly faces at somebody’s toddler while sitting next to my son who’s about to turn 27.

Where does the time go?

It doesn’t go anywhere. It just passes. I’ve got today. He doesn’t. He’s got a life well lived and countless lives carrying him in their hearts.

Thank you, Art Dexter, for your example that life is about relationships and that living well means loving fully.

Onward.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.