The Last Post By Derek Miller

>> Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hopefully by now you have all seen the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and hugged your kids long and hard afterwards.


  http://www.flickr.com/photos/meredithfarmer/collections/
 There are few things I've read that take your breath away and hit you powerfully, beautifully and dead honestly between the eyes.

This is the case when it comes to “The Last Post” by Derek K. Miller over at his blog http://www.penmachine.com/. Miller started writing this, his final message, in January and made revisions to it up until two days before he died. None of his loved ones read it until it was posted by a close friend the day after after his death.

What unfolds is one of the most emotionally, heart-swallowing pieces you’ll read in a long, long, while. Do yourself a favor: Read his post, then go hug your kids again... Read it, bookmark it and refer back to it when you feel battered, bruised or weary. Because the reality of it all is that it's short, vapid and fleeting...stop getting ready to live because before you know it, time will run out.

Here it is. I’m dead, and this is my last post to my blog. In advance, I asked that once my body finally shut down from the punishments of my cancer, then my family and friends publish this prepared message I wrote—the first part of the process of turning this from an active website to an archive.

If you knew me at all in real life, you probably heard the news already from another source, but however you found out, consider this a confirmation: I was born on June 30, 1969 in Vancouver, Canada, and I died in Burnaby on May 3, 2011, age 41, of complications from stage 4 metastatic colorectal cancer. We all knew this was coming.....

....There can't be answers today. While I was still alive writing this, I was sad to know I'll miss these things—not because I won't be able to witness them, but because Air, Marina, and Lauren won't have me there to support their efforts.


It turns out that no one can imagine what's really coming in our lives. We can plan, and do what we enjoy, but we can't expect our plans to work out. Some of them might, while most probably won't. Inventions and ideas will appear, and events will occur, that we could never foresee. That's neither bad nor good, but it is real.


I think and hope that's what my daughters can take from my disease and death. And that my wonderful, amazing wife Airdrie can see too. Not that they could die any day, but that they should pursue what they enjoy, and what stimulates their minds, as much as possible—so they can be ready for opportunities, as well as not disappointed when things go sideways, as they inevitably do.


I've also been lucky. I've never had to wonder where my next meal will come from. I've never feared that a foreign army will come in the night with machetes or machine guns to kill or injure my family. I've never had to run for my life (something I could never do now anyway). Sadly, these are things some people have to do every day right now.


Life’s too fucking short to wake up in the morning with regrets.

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