Watching people die is always a growth experience. I don't say this lightly because the trauma for family and friends is real and painful. But if you're in the medical profession or serve as a hospice worker or minister, the constant passing of people from this life to the next occurs repeatedly in your everyday work and serves more to teach than frighten or depress.

It seems the more I help people go through this terrible step, the more I recognize lessons that are repeated in every case. And no matter that the families and individuals in question are of different cultures, faiths or socio-economic backgrounds --- the same lessons appear. For example, at death everyone seems to regret having focused on the wrong things: too much time cleaning, not enough celebrating; senseless grudges kept too long melt away when the shadow of death occurs; not enough attention given to the kids/the parents/the wife/ the Lord! It's as if death, or the threat of it, finally forces us to adjust our focus, our priorities, our reality. When there's little time left we tend to get serious about life --- how sad. How sad that it takes the stopping of someone else's life to move us to truly begin living our own lives more fully.

If you're reading this article, I want you to stop reading and think for a moment about what you would do differently if you knew you were going to die in a month. Go ahead... think about it!

You'll have learned an important lesson and have fewer regrets when the time of death really comes if you put into practice what you've just thought about. That's because you'll do now what most people only wish they did when it was too late to do it.