Living the Dash

Several months ago, our nephew lost a long battle with depression and addiction at the young age of 32. It is not something I could imagine being able to survive, but my sister-in-law bravely took to the podium to talk about his life and referred to this piece by Linda Ellis. She spoke of the dash between his dates of birth and death and told us the story of his life in a moving and beautiful way. He was not to be remembered by how he died but the dash he lived between the two dates.

The death of a loved one is always a shock to our system regardless of whether it is expected or not, whether they are young or old. Whether the person lived a full and happy life or it was cut too short, we are sad. And it lingers. But it also can serve as a wake-up to those left behind and this is a good thing.  We are human. We are going to die someday and we don’t know when that time will come. We must make the most of our dash.

My dash has been relatively eventful as is with most. From birth to now I have loved and lost (pets, people, things, and beliefs), experienced poor health as well as good, been financially unstable as well as solvent. I’ve felt very low personal emotions such as shame, anger, hurt, and resentment but also joy, excitement, hopefulness, and pure love. I am a wife, a parent, a daughter, sister and friend. I have faced addiction and sobriety. I have been both greedy and generous. I have traveled near and far and tasted countless beautiful meals. Many of my bucket list items have been attained and I’m working fervently on one of the longest, most sought after items.

I am in my dash and don’t know when it will stop so I must keep moving. God is in the dash of everything I do. Sometimes I forget He is there but then I’m reminded by a beautiful song in church, the perfection of a day, the peace in my heart. I would not be able to live out my dash without Him.

What will you do with your dash? I wish you a long and beautiful one.

MC