A couple of weeks ago, I was watching American Idol, as is my custom on Tuesday and Wednesday (and sometimes Thursday) nights, when David Archuleta sang John Lennon’s Imagine. And while I may be one of the few people in America who don’t want David to be the next Idol, I had to admit, the song was beautiful.
I’ve heard it before, of course, but hearing it again made it stick with me for days. I’d find myself walking around my apartment humming it to myself and singing it softly in my cube at work.
So, when I was looking for music to add to my blog (which I hope you’ve all been listening to and enjoying), I decided to add that song to the list. When I was setting up the play list, I looked up the lyrics and was amazed.
Even though I had been humming and singing the chorus for days, I had never really paid attention to the verses. When I read the first verse, I was blown away by how such simple words could convey such a heavy, heavy message.
Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No Hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
Ever since I got my current job and began spending my days writing about kidney disease and the people who are living with it, I’ve had this sort of morbid fascination with living each day as if it was my last.
Death has always been one of my biggest fears. But it wasn’t until I started interviewing people who had faced death and were living with a long term illness that I began to see that the only way to not be scared of death is to face it head on and come to terms with the fact that I, like everyone, will die one day and the only thing I have is the moment that I’m in, which should be lived to the absolute fullest.
It sounds terrible, I know. But ultimately, that thinking has freed me from so much fear.
Maybe some people have to come to a realization like mine. Maybe others can simply imagine there’s no Heaven or Hell. But some way, somehow, I think everyone should learn to live for today, grabbing hold of every splendid moment and experiencing it to the fullest.