Nik: Every now and then something rocks you to your core. Last week I found out that a woman I know has three weeks left to live. She has been battling breast cancer for four years and kept a beautiful and inspiring blog about it. I’ve been following the blog for a while now. I’d say prayers when she asked for them. I’d silently cheer her on when she shared good news. But Tuesday night I cried. She wrote that she was in the beginning stages of liver failure and was told she has three weeks to live. I burst into tears. I kept thinking there must be something left that she can do. There must be a way to fix it. There must be a way for her to keep living. It isn’t fair. She’s in her thirties and has two young children, but was told by the people who’ve been trying to save her life that she has three weeks left. How is that possible? I cried harder than I’ve cried in a long time. I didn’t sleep. I tossed and turned as an unimaginable fear crept in. I turned on the lights thinking that maybe if it wasn’t dark, I’d be less scared. The light didn’t help. Morning came and I got in the shower and broke down again. Only my thoughts made even less sense. I’ve only dealt with the death of grandparents who were blessed to live long and wonderful lives. But I’ve never read the words of someone who is facing death head on. Someone who is young and a mother and a wife and not nearly old enough to say she’s done it all. One of the things she wrote was that she isn’t ready to go, that she hasn’t gotten through her bucket list. Her words raced through my mind as I tried to complete the simple task of washing my hair. Then I stopped. It seems like I have it all together, but it’s all an illusion right? I mean, I know I have my dream job and I know I need to work to make money to pay for life, but suddenly it all seemed meaningless. I questioned why I spin my wheels and work so hard everyday barely finding time for family or friends or… for my own bucket list. I don’t even have a bucket list. I spent Wednesday trying to avoid spinning out of control. I talked to people. Shared with people. And I got some powerful insight. First, I was told that dying is not scary from a man who died. He flatlined for three minutes and said it wasn’t scary at all. He said it was very peaceful and it’s actually scarier for those left behind. I was also told that these events wake you up and can actually be looked at as opportunities to reevaluate your own life… Are you where you want to be? Are you happy? Are you grateful for this go-around on Earth? Does the way you live your life prove it? Do you need to make changes? If so, what’s holding you back? These moments remind us that we’ve only got the present to live the life we really, truly want to live — don’t be stuck in the past, don’t live in an imaginary future. Another friend, a Kundalini Yogi, told me that our souls choose ‘us’ and we make a spiritual contract for our life’s journey–this happens to be the journey her soul chose. She also offered that sometimes when we feel things so deeply, it’s likely we’ve peeled back a layer revealing a bit of ourselves and that we can use the event as medicine to heal our own trauma and wounds. She suggested I light a candle and pray. I did. This post is dedicated to Jessica. You’re a mentor. You’re a muse. You’re a courageous warrior. Thank you for sharing your story–it’s one that inspires, empowers and will make people be better.