Leave it to the dead to teach us about living

Leave it to the dead to teach us about living

This post is dedicated to JR and LM.

Keep fighting kids. It’s worth it.

Yesterday, before I received Deb Dauer’s inspirational blog-turned-book, Not Gonna Be a Debbie Downer I highlighted the following sentence in Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’s journal, Meditations:

“The whole of present time is a pinprick in eternity.” 

Though Deb Dauer was an elementary school teacher in the district where I teach, we never physically met and only met through our writings and unfortunately, only after she was diagnosed with ALS.

In the last year of her life, Deb and I traded emails and texts about writing and life.

She read my blog and I read her’s and two people battling their own illnesses found comfort and meaning in each other’s stories.

On June 4, 2017 I conducted an interview with Deb. At the time, I was interviewing teachers for a monthly post called, “The Teacher Spotlight”.

In the interview, I asked Deb, “If, for one day, she was in charge of her school, what would she do?”

“I would implement a day of service. We would take a break from “the regularly scheduled curriculum” and give students the opportunity to have the whole day to give to others.”

In Deb’s book, my family and I are featured along with a post I wrote, “Why I Celebrated My Worst Day”.

A post that inspired Deb to write about living despite dying and bake a cake and decorate it in defiant, white icing: “FUCK ALS I AM STILL HERE.”

Tonight, Meditations and Not Gonna be a Debbie Downer lie together quietly on my living room end-table.

Separated by almost 2,000 years, the writings of Deb Dauer and Marcus Aurelius prove life is short and art is long and we have such a limited time to give ourselves and our stories to others.

In their own way, in their own voice, Deb and Marcus tell stories of humility and gratitude. Of honesty and companionship. Of pain and self-doubt. Of regret and sadness.

Of what it means to be wholly alive.

When we die–our writings and stories, our teachings and philosophies are proof that we’re not quiet dead. And–I guess in a way–we’ll never die.

I’d like to think Deb (and Marcus) would hope in your earthly years you find the courage to live a righteous and positive life so people can read about and learn from you long after you’re gone.

Of course–leave it to the dead teach us, the close-minded living, how to live.

Be well,


PS– I recommend checking out Deb’s book. It’s a reflective, humorous, and vulnerable guide to living an extraordinary life. 

Life favors the brave. Subscribe and receive my weekly stories, encouragement, and positive messages to help you through this weird and wild adventure called life. 

For being the 100th subscriber– Megan C. received a copy of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” and a Write on Fight on bookmark



Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.