Sometimes I wonder about the end. The end brings you to your one last breath to say one last thing, to feel one last emotion, to address one last issue or person, to think one last thought – what would you say? These are some of the things that famous people have said right before their life and legacy ended.
1. Bob Marley – “Money can’t buy life.”
Bob Marley’s famous last words were spoken to his son, and was pretty accurate and ironic seeing that his compilation album entitled “Legend” was released 3 years after his death and became reggae’s best-selling album ever. He died way too young too, at age 36 – long before he could enjoy what could have been a long life.
This reminds me of my paternal grandfather who was a hardworking man but a miser, living like a poor man his whole life to save a lot of money, and then dying of old age with his last few years senile to the point that no amount of medical knowledge could help him regain the ability to enjoy his life. We all have to remember that sometimes, money is not worth losing your health over, and even precious memories. At the end of the day, you can’t take money to your grave. If money is not spent and earned back, it will just be lost. It’s better to spend as you will always be able to earn back money, but life will only happen to you once.
2. George Harrison – “Love one another.”
George Harrison’s wife recorded his famous last words, and given his sixties hippie background, one would deduce that he meant something along the lines of world peace I agree. Humanity could benefit from more love for each other, because at the end of the day, when your life is over, would you want to think about all the people you have hurt, or die in peace knowing that you somehow contributed to humanity? Love can be a small act but impact others deeply.
We can love one another very easily every day. Smiling at service staff and saying “thank you” to them is a way of showing respect to them and their job, and appreciating their lives for it may be hard. That is love. Giving up your seat to another person in the bus or the train to ease their tired and aching feet (even if they aren’t old, pregnant or handicapped) is also one of the ways to help others. That is love. The hope is to be able to spread love, from one act of kindness to inspire another to act the same.
3. Joe DiMaggio – “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”
Marilyn Monroe infamously died of a drug overdose and alleged suicide. About 40 years later, her ex-husband of a 9-month marriage died and whispered “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn again.” Apparently, Joe DiMaggio never got over the love of his life, and dying was comforted by the thought of being reunited with her.
How many times have we let petty things ruin relationships with people who we actually really care about? Pride and ego become irrelevant when we know that we won’t live to be with that person another day. Sometimes we just have to put our guard down and strive to mend broken ties before it is too late.
I know of a friend who loves his girlfriend so much regardless of her looks and superficial flaws, and yet she left him because he was not rich enough and could not provide a luxurious lifestyle for her. At the end of your life, who do you want journeying with you in your life? A person who truly loves you unconditionally? Or someone who is wealthy enough to buy you a diamond coffin?
4. Luciano Pavarotti – “I believe that a life lived for music is an existence spent wonderfully, and this is what I have dedicated my life to.”
Yes, Pavarotti was a world-famous and critically-acclaimed tenor. What we can learn from his life is that he discovered a passion for music and then lived and breathed that passion. We should all live that way by molding the passion that has been gifted to us and then living a fulfilled life doing what makes us happy, and then having the opportunity to bless others with it. So when you lay on your deathbed, you will have very little regrets.
I, myself, only feel alive when I am creating music. Since I was a little girl, I was singing. All throughout primary school and secondary school, I was singing and playing random musical instruments. All throughout college when my father had encouraged me to study a health science field for a better future, I was still out there, writing songs and recording demos with other musician friends. All throughout my early working life, I was still singing on the side. Eventually, after winning a band competition, I quit my job at the hospital and never looked back. I recorded a little silly song when I was 17 and could only fantasize about how awesome it would be to hear it on the radio. When I was 28, I finally recorded it and it went to number one on the local radio singer-songwriter charts. And the journey will never end, because my life will always be about the thing my heart is passionate about.