In loving memory of dearest Cherie Nassrawi Stavrou 01.08.88-20.05.22 “I was here, I loved, I lived, I was here, I did, I’ve done, everything that I wanted and it was more than I thought it would be”.
Going to jump straight out the box here and boldly announce that I may have found the answer to one of the greatest questions of all time- What is the secret to life? Obnoxious claim? Maybe, but stick with me!
I’m renowned for having profound realisations hit me hard in moments of despair throughout my life. This of course was how Pinchapoo was born, a second of clarity among the endless internal turmoil that was PTSD. I caught a glimmer of light in a pitch-black room because despite my state- my heart remained open to a miracle. This weeks discovery was no different. As I stood at the back of a decadent East Melbourne church overflowing with mourners quietly sobbing at the loss of a beautiful young woman and volunteer taken far too soon, It hit me……. we have this thing called life TOTALLY backwards.
As I tried to grapple with the tragic loss, I began to look around the room. Each person in attendance dressed in their absolute finest. Strangers willingly offering sympathy and comfort to other strangers, gentle glances connecting with others gentle glances in unified sympathy, stories of love freely shared, expression of internal gratitude for our own health and fortunate lives, out pouring of support for the grieving family left behind and a carefully planned day off work so we could all pay our respects.
All this behavior proves that society does actually know how to behave, but why do we go to so much trouble to pay our respects to those passed and not those living? Including ourselves! It occurred to me, we need to start living every day like we are going to a funeral. And yes, this may just be the secret to life!
We have heard many a quotes in our life like “life’s too short” and “puts it all into perspective doesn’t it?”. We tend to resonate with these for a week after the passing of a loved one and so quickly forget again. But what do they actually mean? How do we change the way we live so we don’t keep learning this heartbreaking lesson?
Lets break down some seriously silly human behavior:
I’m saving this for a good occasion.
You know what’s a good occasion? TODAY! You woke up breathing! So wear the dam outfit you are saving for good! In fact, team it with the sequins, red lippy and tiara if that makes you feel great! Not much good to anyone but the Savers and Marketplace when you are gone. Always pay yourself enough respect to be your version of fabulous EVERY DAY!
I couldn’t be in the same room as someone like that. I just don’t like her, we are too different.
Couldn’t you? Guess what? you’d do it at a funeral because you have common ground. We all have common ground and you can connect, empathise, listen and embrace anyone if you remove judgement of any kind from you heart. Remember, those so keen to point out flaws are often blind to their own.
I’m just so time poor.
There is no question we live extremely jam-packed lives, however there is no case in the world EVER of anyone who doesn’t have time to be grateful. Gratitude shouldn’t surface only in the face of someone else’s despair. It doesn’t need to be more than a fleeting thought or a short dinner time conversation. “What are you grateful for today” but it’s the most important thing you will do in life. This simple daily act can increase overall happiness, reduce depression, improve health, increase life expectancy, make you more self-aware, deal with adversity and build stronger relationships. I’d say that’s seconds worth investing in!
I don’t want to bother them.
Have you ever noticed that a social media post announcing someone’s passing has more comments than anything in your newsfeed? This isn’t the only time you can send love, thoughts and prayers to someone. If you are thinking about someone, tell them. If you love and appreciate a person, tell them. Pay your respects to the living and know that voicing love to someone is never a hinderance, a meal on a doorstep is always a blessing and love is the greatest gift we have to give.
This doesn’t even need to apply to someone you know! Be the crazy one who crosses the road to tell a stranger they look fabulous. You don’t know how badly that stranger needs you to be that person.
There is a great difference between surviving and living, I hope when you too cross into internal life that you can say you truly lived like beautiful Cherie. x