Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tip#941: Celebrating Life & Death - Meet Joe Black

Last year I lost two close friends to cancer while several years ago another close friend named Chris had taken his own life. I was thinking of them all because of the recent unexpected passing of former Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford who had been battling cancer. Life can unexpectedly end when we least expect it. My three friends may be gone but I think about them every day because of the little beautiful differences they made in my life.

Chris, who had suffered from an unspecified mental issue, encouraged me to use honey as a sweetener for my coffee instead of sugar over a decade ago. To this day I always use honey and it makes me think of him and feel his spirit is with me every time I enjoy a delicious cup of hot coffee. I get to celebrate his life in this small, joyful way!

Meet Joe Black (1998)

The fantasy romance drama film, Meet Joe Black, is about successful businessman Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) who is enlisted by Death (Brad Pitt) to teach him what it is like to be human. This highly entertaining and emotional film features great performances from the entire cast as it celebrates many aspects of life. See: movie trailer 

Bill’s deal with Death allows him a few more days to live and he uses them to spend more time with his family Susan (Claire Forlani), Allison (Marcia Gay Harden) and her husband Quince (Jeffrey Tambor). He enjoys every moment with them especially at their family dinners. At the same time Death, going by the name of Joe Black, shows playfully exquisite joy over the taste of peanut butter and other foods. He also discovers romantic love with Susan and what it’s like to love another human being.

This film is overflowing with heartfelt insights about life, death, family and love. It is also part of my list of films I recommend for helping one grieve (see tip#436). The movie is a reminder to live as fully as possible in the present with the people we love and to really taste all the flavours life has to offer.

Remind yourself every day to cherish each moment. Savor every sip of delicious coffee or drink you are having. Love each second you are with a friend or family member. And if a loved one has passed celebrate the difference they made it your life that brings you joy. That’s how they live on forever!

Related Tips:
Tip#436: Healing Movies For The Death of a Loved One
Tip#109: Celebrate More: Part 1 - Elf 

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