Life is short.” We’ve heard the expression a million times, but how often have you soaked in what those words truly mean?

Last week, a fellow writer and friend suddenly passed away. Just gone. One day he was there, the next, vanished. Far too young with so many dreams left unrealized.

I’ve had Mark Worthen’s Twitter page up on my laptop since the moment I heard the sad news.


As a reminder to live my life as if I wouldn’t wake tomorrow.

It forced me to analyze how I use my energy. Do I want to spend my final moments thinking about the people who have bullied me? Do I want to gasp my last breath and not have told those dear to me how much I love them? Do I want to feel my heart slowing, worrying how the mortgage will get paid?

Imagine today is your last day. What would you do?

I’d hug my parents and thank them for always believing in me. Kiss my teenagers, seeing their love for me twinkle in their eyes. I’d admit to the people I have wronged that I failed to live up to my own expectations and ask for forgiveness. I’d find the people who have wronged me and simply wish them well, confident they’d still screw people over until someone did the same to them. I’d take a long walk in the mountains with my best friend, ending with the longest, strongest hug I could give. I’d kiss the man I love. I’d pray. I’d email Slavery by Another Name to every producer, actor and agent in town and tell them to do it justice… and send the check to my kids. I’d have a party and celebrate the amazing life I have had.

I’d cry. I’d laugh. I’d love. Most of all, I would give love.

I’m fairly certain of one thing: I would not waste my last day sitting at this computer. I would live it.

“Life is short” – three, powerful, one-syllable words.

Now go live.

Dedicated to Jeannie Eddy, the beloved wife of Mark W. Worthen


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14 thoughts on “Live

  1. I loved this piece. It really does remind me what’s important in life. We can’t spend so much time planning or working that we forget to actually live life. I spend so much time on my computer trying to accomplish something epic and literary so I can feel fulfilled in my life, and I end up living vicariously through my characters. I keep telling myself I can have fun when the words are typed and the manuscripted completed. What a sad wake up call to think there is one special writer who won’t have the chance to reboot life. I’m going to reboot life today and spend just a little more time in the real world. Thanks for reminding me why that’s so important.

  2. Death has an amazing way of readjusting the frame through which we view life. I love this post, and hope that you have the opportunity to do everything mentioned in it. Especially the party 🙂 have it in NYC 😉

  3. Lovely post. I’ve also had a friend pass away very suddenly recently. His motto was ‘Let’s make it the best day ever’ and he frequently did.

  4. i knew mark a little via second life where i had a character named flawnt alchemi. mark ran milk wood writers community there for a while and we often met and chatted and subbed for each other. i am really shocked and dont know what to say. i hadnt talked to him in a year…from the site or from his wife’s tweets i could not surmise what he died of—do you happen to know? cheers and thanks for writing this.

    • Marcus,
      The autopsy could not determine the cause of Mark’s death. He suffered from epilepsy, so we just assume it was something to do with that. I dropped him off at work, and ten minutes later, he was gone. The emergency room doctor told me over the phone. I thank God my sons were home, because I’d have probably crashed on the way to the hospital. It’s still not real to me – but it’s the worst New Year’s I’ve ever had.

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