Expected Date of Departure
Expected Date of Departure encourages you to invest your best into your relationships. The Preparation referred to in this book is about keeping your relationships in top form and so enjoying the people that you have been blessed with. The thought of losing a loved one evokes fear. Few will admit that they think of it, fewer still want to talk about it. But bereavement is an everyday occurrence and will happen to everyone who lives long enough. Be proactive: Expected Date of Departure encourages you to prepare yourself for loss and to choose your response in advance.
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Action-based: Expected Date of Departure gives you permission to think about the inevitable death of loved ones, talk about it, and plan for grief before it happens. Preparing for loss does not bring on bad luck nor does it cause fear; instead, it can make our world a more delightful place. If you thought you might never get to speak to your friend again after your ongoing discussion with her, would it make any difference in the way you carry on with the conversation? Would you be more attentive, more thoughtful of the responses you give?.
Likely, yes. There will be more loving and caring if we relate to our loved ones with the end in mind. Expected Date of Departure invites you to think that people are gifts, for a time, not forever. Therefore, you should give the best, be the best, and help others to be their best in relationships. If you do this, you’ll miss them when they’re gone but you’d have no regrets. Instead, you’d have comfort in the time that you spent with them. You will live with the satisfaction that there were no unfinished businesses in your relationships. And if you leave before they do, they will experience similar comfort and joy amid the sorrow of missing you.