In the last two weeks the world lost, I am sure, many wonderful people. Fathers, daughters, wives and friends. Many children and parents have said good bye to loved ones. Each loss heart breaking to someone somewhere. In part, we grieve for what we have lost. In part, for the life that person will never get to live. To be brave at the end is something many of us hope we can be. Fear we cannot. I know for sure, I will not be facing my final moments wishing I had owned more or worked more. The value of life is in the depth of it.
Stephen Sutton (http://magicfuture.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/StephensStory.pdf) died last week. As did Polly Noble (http://pollynoble.com/about-polly-noble/). Both these losses must be such a devastating loss for their family and friends. A loss made more manageable by the number of lives they touched. The people they inspired. The insight that they shared about the opportunities that a life has, no matter how short.
I was lucky to have ‘followed’ Polly for several years on Twitter and Instagram. Stumbling across her story I was touched and motivated. I have mentioned her on this blog before. Not only did she take on Cancer, head on, she shared her story and passions with so many. Running seminars, speaking at conferences, starting businesses and fiercely living life in spite of Cancer. She opened people’s eyes to the importance of nutrition when faced with chronic or life threatening illness. She was beautiful too. She tweeted me a few weeks before her death and I felt a boost. I did not know she would be leaving so soon. She was Instagramming pictures and promoting wellbeing and a Conscious Approach to life (http://theconsciouslifeguide.com/) in her final weeks. When I heard she had passed, like many I know, I had a little cry. I hope her family draw strength from the immensity of what she achieved. What she stood for. Her Mission Statement: “To inspire others to live a happier and healthier life and to do everything in their power to achieve this in every moment so they can live a life they love”.
Like Polly, Stephen Sutton faced Cancer in a remarkable way. The depth of meaning he drew from facing terminal cancer is not unheard of, though I am sure is not the norm. The fact he was only 19 when he died makes his story so moving. His intelligence and ability to beautifully articulate what he had learned and taken from it is perhaps what makes it so awe inspiring. The £3.2 million he raised for The Teenage Cancer Trust (http://www.teenagecancertrust.org/get-involved/make-a-donation/) before he died (that figure still rising) the icing on his cake. He was able to communicate to people that life should not be measure in time, but in what we achieve. he wrote:
“Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with £86,400.
It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening, the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.
What would you do? Draw out every penny, of course!”
Think about it for a moment. What would you do? You’d take the money out and store it somehow, right? You’d give it to someone else. You’d use it to buy something that would last until tomorrow (a fancy sports car, down payment on a house, a painting, a pony).
“Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night, any of this time you have failed to invest to a good purpose, it writes off as lost.
These seconds carry over no balance.
The bank of TIME allows no over draft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.”
Each of us is given 86,400 seconds with which to do whatever we want, and
we’re not getting that time back.
That’s why I think it’s important to use the time we’ve got as positively and productively as possible” #StephenSutton
So thank you Stephen and Polly. Thank you to all the Stephen and Pollys that are out there. And importantly, good luck to all the Stephen and Pollys that lie within all of us, if only we have the strength to seek them out.