Iowa lost one of our pillars recently with the death of Joy Corning, former Lt. Governor of Iowa. Since Joy knew she had a terminal illness, she embraced her life and her mortality. Joy recognized that dying was a part of living. For example, Joy started giving away her special possessions to her three daughters and friends and sharing stories about the items. You can read more about this by reading this article. There is a short video in this article that is also worth watching. She wanted her friends to know about her condition and made sure to say what she wanted to say to the people who mattered most.
Joy wrote her own obituary which was too modest but reflected Joy. I believe it is a gift to know that time is limited, you have your mind, and you can script how you want to live out the rest of your days. Not everyone is so fortunate, but Joy behaved as she knew it was a gift.
While I did not know her well, I attended her funeral because of the respect I had for her as a person and as a way of thanking her for the causes we both support. In fact, Joy had carefully planned her celebration by telling the pastor “not to speak too long” and having him remind people “they did not have to stand in line for the reception because there are two doors into the hall.” It was clear from the service that Joy was a strong and opinionated woman–a moderate Republican who believed in the value of government. She was not afraid to stand up for what she believed. The packed sanctuary reflected the difference Joy made in the community and in the lives of others. Joy taught us a lot about how to live well and die well.
One of the main components of becoming a Sage is embracing one’s own mortality. Joy Corning is one of my role models for how to live and die. She lived and died as a Sage.
How would you use your time if you knew your time was limited?
When will you have any more time than you have right now?