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A dear friend of ours passed away four years ago today.
He was much too young.
His beautiful spirit, inappropriate sense of humor and general zest for life was contagious. It’s still hard to believe sometimes that he’s gone.
But our memories are among the few things that we don’t have to let go of. We can keep them with us, reviving them to life as they surface in our minds.
While the anniversary dates of our losses often bring these memories into clearer focus, it’s amazing how they can surface randomly, often when we least expect it. People, places, events—and even music—have a way of leading us back to earlier times. Our thoughts can reduce us to tears, and they can just as easily cause us to burst into a fit of laughter. It’s amazing how a mere thought can drive our emotions with such force.
We raised our glasses in our friend’s memory, and as we toasted we expressed gratitude for life—both for the precious moments we were able to spend with our dear friend, and also for each of the moments we’ve been given on this earth.
To me, celebrating the gift of life is a form of self-care. When we choose to remember the good things, savoring the special moments we share with one another, we are deliberately supporting our well-being. And when we express our emotions in a healthy way, we are able to benefit from the experience itself.
Toasting typically involves a celebration of our most significant life events. In America, we usually say “Cheers!” when we toast, but every language has a similar variation.
Spain: ¡Salud! (health)
France: Santé (health)
Ireland: Sláinte (health)
Germany: Prost (may it be good)
Turkey: Şerefe (to honor)
In a way, a toast is simply an expression of gratitude for the good things that come with living. The ceremonial practice of toasting allows us to give thanks for the blessings in our lives, and for those we are able to share the moments with.
What have you toasted to recently?