It often takes a life changing event to change your perspective on what’s important in life and no event is more life changing than death. Ironically, after my own death I have learned more about parenting and living.
Last November I died! It was a cold snowy day….or so I’m told.
I was offered this job to blog for Dayton Parent Magazine on that fateful day.
Apparently, I went quickly! I collapsed on the couch, after going into full cardiac arrest and I was dead for more than ten minutes.
My wife’s quick thinking, action and the paramedic’s paddles brought me back to life.
It took five jolts of the defibrillators to bring me back amongst the living and some good doctors and nurses to keep me alive!
When I came out of a coma and off of the breathing machines a few days later, I heard the same thing over and over. It was a miracle that I survived.
My flirtation with death has caused a lot of self reflection and I’m hoping some of my reflections can help parents everywhere. Here are some things that my death has taught me about life:
Appreciate your true supporters and it’s never too soon to have a bucket list of your important dreams
As I mentioned, I was offered this chance to be a blogger for Dayton Parent Magazine.
Just a few years back, I told my wife that I wanted to be a writer as part of my bucket list.
She has been fully supportive of my writing. My wife and daughter have inspired me to write great things. They have gone above and beyond to make me more successful at writing and I’m truly thankful.
Tell your kids you love them every time you say goodbye or goodnight!
My wife mentioned to me that the day I died, I had spoken to my daughter at college.
My daughter talked to me about her classes and upcoming school schedule. Since I had no memory of that day, I feared that I had not told my daughter “I love you” when we hung up. As the sayings go “You never know when you are going to die” and “ Love life and appreciate each day, because it could be your last” these sayings seem like clichés, but I’m living proof they are not.
Let others know when your hurting or being hurt and don’t bottle up your feelings!
Prior to the day I died and even several months afterward, I was holding in some hurt feelings. I kept them inside of me as some people tend to do. The bitterness gnawed at me and because I kept quiet, I kept hurting. My wife and daughter helped me get over this with their love and support. They continue to encourage me and have taught me to reduce my stress by letting others know when I feel slighted or disrespected. I was given a second chance to get things off my chest, but I could have died with those feelings bottled up inside of me forever!
A surgery you have as a child or that your child has does not assure a lifelong cure.
Always follow up and learn all you can about these surgeries, it can help save a life!
As a kid I was born with a hole in my heart and a pinched valve. During my childhood I went through several heart surgeries. These surgeries were in their early stages. One of them was called Tetrology of Fallot. Just now, experts in this field are learning about the secondary effects of these complex operations. Had I followed this more closely and met with experts in the Cardiology field, I could have had some preventative care for my heart. Also, I was under the impression that I was invincible and I shoveled. This is not smart if you have heart problems.
Strive to be healthier and reduce stress!
When you have a near death experience it will change you. You try to be healthier, you try to relax and you try to not sweat the small stuff. Take walks and naps. Play with your pet and listen to good music.
You only live twice- okay, some of us do! So smile and laugh more!
Life can be pretty serious, but a sense of humor is vital. Laugh all you can to relieve the pressures that come with recovering in today’s volatile world. It’s better to die happy than unhappy!
Connect and Re-Connect with Friends!
You learn the value of your friends and the importance of connecting with old friends.
True friends love you in good times and bad. They cry when you almost die and laugh with you after you come back to life!
Be Grateful and Life is Greater!
Once you die, you see more of the good in life. Simple things you took for granted mean so much. Things like, dipping your toes in the ocean, hearing a favorite song or holding your wife’s hand and hearing your daughter laugh. I always loved these things, but now they are greater than ever. Appreciate the simple things and when those around you make you happy tell them: you can do this with words or a kiss or a hug!