HOW WOULD YOU FACE DEATH?

DEATH

Comfort on difficult days,
Smiles when sadness intrudes,
Rainbows to follow the clouds,
Laughter to kiss your lips,
Sunsets to warm your heart,
Hugs when spirits sag,
Beauty for your eyes to see,
Friendships to brighten your being,
Faith so that you can believe,
Confidence for when you doubt,
Courage to know yourself,
Patience to accept the truth,
Love to complete your life. – Unknown

What a great poem this is? Life is surely great, even until the last day if and if only you know how to see, understand and live it well. Most people will fear death, worrying unnecessary about it. Will this make death go away? Someday, somehow, whether it is in our prime time, sickness or old age, we still cannot avoid death. Death is universal. It will strike all and spare none. Not even plants, insects, animal and any other life forms will escape this part of the life cycle.

What really impressed me is the courage of 46 years old Prof. Randy Pausch, PhD. He knew he was going to die in 3-6 months’ time after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 15th, 2007 and yet he has the courage to face death and gave his last lecture on life. This Carnegie Mellon University’s professor of Computer Science has given some great contributions to the field of virtual reality, science, and education. What a great way to die without feeling the sorrow and yet did something positive for himself and the world. In fact, Prof. Randy is alive and kicking on February 15, 2008, the maximum period the doctors have given him to live.

“The doctors weren’t wrong; they always said that if the palliative chemo worked, it would buy more time, but that it was a long shot. And the doctors have done a brilliant job of tweaking my regimen to help my odds. How much longer this will work is hard to know, but I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left, no matter how many or how few of them I get,” said Prof. Randy. Thinking positive and having his life lived to the fullest was what Prof. Randy had in this mind. He did not worry at all of even his funeral preparations but instead he spent his prescribed limited time with his family, laughing and having fun just like any normal person would do.

“Attitude clearly matters in fighting cancer. We don’t know why (from my old-style materialistic perspective, I suspect that mental states feed back upon the immune system). But match people with the same cancer for age, class, health, socioeconomic status, and, in general, those with positive attitudes, with a strong will and purpose for living, with commitment to struggle, with an active response to aiding their own treatment and not just a passive acceptance of anything doctors say, tend to live longer,” said Stephen Jay Gould, an influential evolutionary biologist who once taught at the Harvard University. He lived 20 more productive years on top of the 8-month median survival as diagnosed by his doctors.

Here is part of the video clip of the professor’s last lecture as well of the interview he had with ABC. Spend 10 minutes of your time to watch it and appreciate what was said inside. It may take some time in streaming of the video but it is worth the waiting to learn how to live life wonderfully even though death is at the doorsteps.

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