“Live like you were dying” – Tim McGraw

Vic and Esther 8.1.2013
Vic and Esther 8.1.2013

I read this post today –  http://daysnet.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/we-need-to-step-back-and-just-breathe/   I always remember the Tim McGraw song


He said   “I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin’ ’bout the options
And talkin’ ’bout sweet time”
I asked him
“When it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit you
When you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d you do?”

He said
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”
He said
“I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition

And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again

It dawned on me that we have been luckier than most.  We have lived as if Vic was dying all our lives.  We lived every second.  Vic lived every second.  Only the last week of her life she went into dying mode.  Only once she was sedated did she succumb to dying.  The rest of her life she lived; we lived her life.  Every single birthday we celebrated Vic’s life.

We have a family tradition, (which the kids hate), of having eulogy speeches on everyone’s birthday.  So on our birthdays we would go around the table and everyone gets to say something nice of the birthday boy/girl…  We call it our “Living Eulogy”…  So often we only speak well of the dead.  We treat the living with contempt and disregard; we do not acknowledge their achievements and goodness…We are so focussed on success.  Success by our own terms!

I am grateful for our family tradition and I will not allow it to die off…  I am grateful Vic knew how much we revered her….

Vic did not have a career or a degree, fame or fortune.  Yet she has touched thousands of people’s lives worldwide and will continue to do so through Stepping Stone Hospice.  I am grateful that she heard how much we loved and respected her.   The most common words were “You are the bravest person I know…”

Vic was an amazing mother.  She loved and nurtured her boys.  I wonder whether they ever witnessed her tears of pain when she cooked for them or made their lunch for school…. I did.

We will continue to honour Vic’s life through our actions and words.

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I am a sixty plenty wife, mother, sister, grandmother and friend. I started blogging as a coping mechanism during my beautiful daughter's final journey. Vic was desperately ill for 10 years after a botched back operation. Vic's Journey ended on 18 January 2013 at 10:35. She was the most courageous person in the world and has inspired thousands of people all over the world. Vic's two boys are monuments of her existence. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend. I will miss you today, tomorrow and forever my Angle Child. https://tersiaburger.wordpress.com

12 thoughts on ““Live like you were dying” – Tim McGraw”

  1. Tersia

    I have to say I have received another phrase coming into my head (this is weird, as I can’t remember when I last received a clauraudient (if that is the term) message before now.

    While 1/ This makes me look very like one of those unscrupulous people who prey upon the vulnerabliities of the newly bereaved,


    2/ that this may not be for you,

    when waiting for sleep last night, some words appeared in my head. When I expressed reluctance to pass them on, they were repeated insistently. Either I am cracking up or they are a message for someone, and may be a coda to the last ( that time, I was so startled I ‘turned off’.

    They are ‘Left hand drawer’ and ‘on the inside.’. I am embarrassed to be repeating such general things which may not be even intended for you, but feel I have no choice.


    1. Dear Lucinda, you are not losing it!! It is definitely Vic using you as a megaphone…. The boys birth certificates and an important insurance document were in the left hand drawer of her headboard! After Vic died I asked her to send me a clear message that she is still around! she has found someone to let me know that she is around. Both the “chestnut” and “left hand drawer” has a lot of meaning to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
      Destiny made our paths cross… our blogs are unlikely matches…my posts ended up in your spam folder if I remember correctly and yours ended up in my spam folder for a long time…
      Please use my email address if you are reluctant to communicate here… tersia.burger@gmail.com
      Thank you again!! I know my baby girl is still with me.


  2. I wrote a poem about the son I lost last night-havent put it on wordpress yet-but its funny, we dont always KNOW when we are dying, we live like we are living…beebeesworld


  3. I am so glad that those apparently random words have a true meaning for you and if I get any further messages, for sure I will communicate direct. There was a comic element which I am sure Vic would have appreciated, as I was quite put out at being given the ‘left hand drawer’ and ‘on the inside’ messages, and gave a mental equivalent of the response of, ‘Oh, do I have to?’ at which the words kept on being repeated insistently until I gave in… I will pop in now and then to see how things are with you as I think of you as a friend, but now feel that my being brought on here was mainly to pass those messages on so am signing off for now. Thinking of you all.


  4. Brought tears to my eyes. Wow!!! I normally don’t reblog but this is one that bears reminding and sharing. All I can say is thank you for sharing. ~ Ayanna Nahmias


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