A Dying Wish (Filled With LIFE))

It’s my favorite part of talking to old people.

After so many decades of life, when they look back on the single most important moment or memory, what stands out?

This past week I spoke to Nel, 86, who shared such a poignant moment.

“I worked in hospice. My very first patient was a 36 year old woman.

“The nurses gave me her room. I went to her bed and took her hand.

“She was 36, mother of 3, not expected to live through the night. I started crying.

“Tears streaming down my face.

“She said, ‘Are You ok? What’s the matter?’

“I said, ‘I can’t think of one thing that I can say or do that would be helpful to you in anyway.’

“And she said, “Would you shave my legs? My legs have not been shaved in months and I don’t want to die with hairy legs.’

“And I went flying down that hall and got a container of hot water and soap and a razor and shaved her legs and put lotion all over her legs.

“She died that night.

“What I’m trying to show you is…

“Show up where people are rather than where you think they are.”

I think that’s worth repeating.

Show up where people are rather than where you think they are.


This past week, my daughter and I dropped my wife and son at the airport.

While driving home in LA traffic, my daughter starts having a meltdown in the back of the car.

She’s only 1.5 years old so I didn’t think to ask what she wanted. I just went through the motions.

First I tried to give her a snack. Then her water bottle. Then her favorite kids song.

She was still crying, close to the point of hyperventilating…

I looked at Google Maps and we still had 27 minutes left in the drive.

I was desperate and said to her, “Cooper what do you want? What can I do?!?!?!”

She said, “Hold hand. Hold hand.”

I reached my hand back to her. She wrapped her tiny little fingers around mine…and the rest of the drive was perfection.

I had just assumed she needed food or water.

But she wanted something else, and all I needed to do was ask.

We do our best to show up for the people in our lives.

You check in with your partner during the day to see how it’s going

You run through the motions with your co-workers.

You connect with loved ones when you have a free moment.

When is the last time someone checked in with you…where you are…instead of where they think you are?

In my conversations with the oldest of old, the stories and memories that make it through their filters are these moments when people reach past the surface layer of life…and seek to hear and touch and see what’s happening below the surface.

It’s often sudden and spontaneous, not a planned a moment, certainly not Instagrammable, but so incredibly f*cking human.

And it’s something any of us can do, like…right now!

“Show up where people are rather than where you think they are.”


—>My new book, LIFE LESSONS FROM THE OLDEST AND WISEST, launches on November 6.


There are lots of things you can on a Thursday night in LA.

But I promise you, there is no place where you will be more loved and appreciated than sharing your energy and attention with lonely elders.

If you live in Los Angeles, come have Drinks with Your Elders, this Thursday, September 13.

It’s just one hour to come and listen to the stories of the oldest and wisest people in your community.

They will share something with you that will shift your perspective on work, life, health, marriage.

And your presence will give them something to live for!

Thursday, September 13
Sunrise of Beverly Hills
201 N. Crescent Drive
RSVP: 310 274-4479
Cost: FREE

For more, visit here


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