My brother-in-law, Peter Anderson, passed away on September 30, 2023, at 71 years of age of brain cancer. Peter finished well. He had spent over 50 years battling alcoholism and finally reached sobriety twelve years before he died. During the last decade, Peter and I read more books together than I could count. He would ask me for a book to read, and then we would discuss it. At times, he suggested I read one, and some of them radically changed my relationships, like the book by Nichols entitled The Lost Art of Listening, which I ended up reading all three editions!
There are a couple of characteristics that Peter demonstrated to the very end of his life: his humor and his gratitude. As I watched him prepare for his own death, he repeatedly told me all the things for which he was grateful. He even kept a gratitude list of twenty or so things in the bathroom to remind himself. During my last visit to Peter’s home about a month before his death, I went into his bathroom and checked out the gratitude list taped to the wall. He had drawn a dark line through
Later, when we were on Zoom together about a week before he lost consciousness, he said to me, “I think I only have a couple of days left to live, but I am not sure. I have never done this before.” He then smiled a little.
He had a great sense of humor and an attitude of gratitude right up to his death. He lived a vibrant life the last few years of his life, and he died a vibrant death.
This week, list what you are grateful for. Do you mean it? Will you live like it till you die? I hope so…Peter reminds me to do so.