24 Hours to Live

What would you do if you had 24 hours to live?

Talk about a heavy question. A favorite writer of mine, Alexandra Franzen, recently posed this question–one she addresses in her new book, So This is the End: A Love Story.”

Trying to imagine what you’d do with your last 24 hours on earth is impossibly sad, because at least for me, it would be about saying a lot of goodbyes to all my favorite people. But I wouldn’t want them to know they were goodbyes. I’d just want everyone else to have the time of their lives and to know that they are endlessly loved.

Just the other day I was thinking how I wish I could get married again (still to Wade), just so I could have all of our very favorite people together in one room again.

See for me, wrapping up my life on Earth wouldn’t be about seeing something I’ve never seen or doing something I’ve never done. That list knows no bounds and I’d never be able to narrow it down. And none of it compares to what I imagine awaits us in Heaven, so what would be the point? And besides all that, there’s just nothing more important to me on Earth than my people. And that’s where I’d want to focus all my remaining time. It wouldn’t be about me at all, it would be about them.

My biggest fear in life is that the people I love don’t know how unimaginably loved they truly are. So, if I could do whatever I wanted in my final 24 hours, I would throw a huge party. And I’d fly in every single person I love like crazy, who love me back just as hard, and I’d celebrate with them. I’d give every last one the biggest, most memorable hug of their life. I’d sing karaoke and dance with my friends and family. We’d eat donuts together. And drink champagne. I’d laugh until I cried. I’d kiss everyone’s faces and tell them how much I adore them. We’d wrap up the night in a giant dance circle singing Piano Man and Closing Time.

And then, because I am who I am, I’d probably spend a few hours writing 100+ individual emails to those same people and schedule them for delivery a few days later so they’d always know exactly how much I loved and appreciated them.

I’d reserve my final few hours just for my sweet husband. I’d hold his hand and squeeze him tight. Give him a thousand and one kisses. Tell him all my hopes and dreams for him. Make sure he knows my love has no limits and that I want him to be happy. I’d sit on our back patio with him smoking cigars, drinking a bottle of St. Hugo and looking at the sun setting on the snow-capped mountains.

Then I’d say a final thank you prayer to God for this life he’s given me. I’d ask Him to love and protect my friends and family and to ensure that I’d see them again someday, and then I’d say, “I can’t wait to see your face.” And that would be it.

What would you do?


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