It’s been a rough week for sure. Many of us have been touched by the passing of Chadwick Boseman. You’d have to have been out to sea for the past week to not know the outpouring of love and grief, celebration and sorrow that has flowed around the world since we learned of his death. His passing has sparked many conversations about appreciation and courage, faith and devotion to purpose, empathy, and what it means to leave a legacy. It is hard to not see a lesson for yourself in the suddenness of his passing.

His death, however, was not the only one to happen in the past week.

This past week people lost mothers, fathers, siblings and friends. People lost coworkers, lovers, spouses and role models. According to statistics, our country is losing thousands of people every week to this new virus. That is on top of all the usual causes of death we face. Death is every day. It knows no boundaries and does not care about your status. Some deaths hit us differently. Every death, however, teaches us the same thing.

Don’t wait!

No one, not one of us, knows how much time we have on this planet, in this body, living this life. So, when death takes someone from our lives it puts time in very sharp focus. It’s the reminder, don’t wait to do what you dream of, to take that chance, to shoot your shot, because tomorrow is not promised. More than that, we only have so much time, why not spend it living a live we love and that nourishes our soul. Why waste a single moment not being yourself and following the path of your choosing?

Fight to live!

Even the most charmed life will throw obstacles and challenges your way. Even the most privileged among us have setbacks and get horrible news that has them facing daunting odds. Literally fighting to stay alive is but one interpretation. Sometimes we find ourselves in a rut or so focused on survival that we are existing but not living. If you are faced with losing it, you gotta find a way to fight to keep it. If you find yourself just watching the days pass by, you’ve got to find a way to fight to experience it.

Choose your circle wisely!

Not everyone can be trusted to share your life. Some people only need to know the outer layers. When you are going through the trials of your life, however, you need people on your side who can not only lift you up but hold your confidence. You need people around you who let you go deep but also those who know when and how to lighten the mood. Who you have around you makes all the difference in how you progress in your life? Your circle can elevate you or diminish your journey.

Honor your purpose!

The proof that we are all here for a different purpose is evident in the fact that we are all unique. No one else can live your life the way you will do it. No one else will bring into this world the spirit you bring. Therefore, no one else can tell you your purpose or how to best honor it. There will always be people who have their own ideas about how you should spend your years and they might be very pushy about getting you to follow. There will be others who will try to get you to disregard your instinct and inner drive and will seek to manipulate you for their own purpose. Your life, however, is your own.

Mostly, live a life you can love!

No one loves every day of their life. Some days are hard and some feel like a kick to the gut. No one hates every day of their life. Some days are beautiful and some feel like a deep inhale of fresh air. As important as it is to be in the moment, it is also important to keep in mind that one builds a life. As tempting as it is to live practically, life needs moments that are fanciful and without utility. When you reflect back on your days, however many of them you get, how wonderful would it be to at least be able to say you lived a life you loved.

Life teaches us many lessons but death really teaches us one. Live your life to the fullest that you can and savor it for all that it’s worth.

— Mariel Blake is a Daily News columnist. She can be reached at