Not my normal topic ... Preparing for a good end of life

Usually my blog posts are about technology and instruction and tools and tips.

Today my post is about people.  Today my post is about my life.

Just over three weeks ago we very suddenly lost my father-in-law to a heart attack.  He and my husband and my brother-in-law ran a family business.  Although my father-in-law was not a teacher in the traditional sense, he did teach my husband many things about business, manufacturing, and how to be a wonderful husband, friend and father.

Just a few days ago, I lost my dear friend and the BMS Librarian, Deb Tackett, after a mean, hard battle with cancer.  She was a student advocate, a believer in the power of books AND technology, and my coach on how to be a good boy mom.  If you'd like to know more about her journey, you can find it here, although the last post is about a year old.

Yesterday I happened upon a TED Talk titled "Prepare for a good end of life" in which Judy McDonald Johnston (odd that we have the same last name, huh?) talks about the sad, often taboo, fearsome topic of dying.  I will warn you, if you have lost someone recently, bookmark this and watch it later.  It was very hard for me to watch.

It did get me thinking, though, about the loved ones I've recently lost, the accomplishments in their lives and how to preserve their legacy.  How many of us actually think about the end of our life?  I know, I know - it's sad and hard to do.  However, I find myself very reflective lately about how I am using my time, what I am doing with my life and what legacy I will leave behind.

For me, preparing for a good end of life means making sure I don't have words unsaid or deeds undone.  Every breath we take is a gift.  Are you living your life as such?  As educators we have a SEA OF OPPORTUNITY to touch lives and leave a lasting legacy.  Often, we are too tired or too stressed or too worried about standardized testing (yep, I said it) or too wrapped up in general life strife to really take advantage of those opportunities.

I hope this post will make you stop for just a second and think about how you interact with your students, with your colleagues, with your supervisors, friends, families, children...  Are you preparing for a good end of life by building a legacy of compassion and humility and courage and love?  How can we work on this right now?  Give a child a hug, use a softer tone, go the extra mile, bite your tongue (harder...HARDER!).  :)  Seize the day - it is certainly a gift.


  1. Sorry for your recent losses. We recently lost a wonderful woman in our little town that was adored by everyone! I will definitely share the video with my friends! Your words are so true and make me ant to go out and hug all the kids in my library right now! Thanks for reminding us what is really important in life...people and relationships!

    1. Christie, I am so sorry for your loss. It is terrible to process, but so important to make sure we carry on the good works of those before us. You are SO RIGHT - it's about people and relationships. I am happy to have you in my circle!

  2. Jessica,
    I am sorry for your recent losses. Whether sudden or expected, death hits us hard. Thank you so much for interrupting your "regularly scheduled program" (i.e. your fab, enthusiastic and positive ed tech blog) for this dose of humanity and introspection. Thank you, Alicia


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