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July 9th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

The Last Day of Your Life …

292What would you do if you had only 24 hours left to live? On Friday’s show, Megan says she’s already living as though it were her last day, traveling through all 50 states in an RV. This amazing young lady quit her job and left her boyfriend and loved ones behind to raise money and awareness for brain aneurysm research. Megan says she’s doing all this to honor her father, who died from a brain aneurysm when she was 11.

So how would you spend the last day of your life? I know where I’d be — right here, surrounded by family.

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120 Responses to “The Last Day of Your Life …”

  1. Judith Tribbett says:

    As an aneurysm survivor, I would like to be able to contact Megan and see if I could touch base with her (e-mail?) to explore possibilities of doing some work together. Thanks

  2. Marcia Betts says:

    I survived a brain aneurysm that started on June 3, 2008 and was repaired on June 13, 2008. I was and still live every day of my life as if it were my last. You won’t have time to prepare when it happens, so live it now and every day. I am lucky to be alive and have no disabilities. My husband and I just celebrated 50 years of marriage. We have 3 children, 8 grandchildren 1 great granddaughter. I needed two more years to be a part of high school graduation of 2 granddaughters, plan and attend the second marriage of my son, buy the bride’s gown and all the bridesmade dresses on ebay for an astonishing total of $200.00. I am a knitter and was able to knit 2 blankets for my new great-granddaughter and 400 more Chemo Hats to give at the local clinic. I am so glad I was saved!

  3. Beverly Clark says:

    I already know that life is way too short to waist on trivial drama and pursuits. I try and think of things each day to make my family better, ways to make my children happy, and all the tiny details. I think when life knocked me on my rear, and continues to remind me from time to time, that I realized what matters most! I learned more positive things in those huge bad things happening than had I continued down the same path I was walking in life! We are still a work in progress but I have hope towards our futures. I think it would also benefit others to learn how to see the positives in the bad things that happen!

  4. sharon says:

    Dear Phil,

    That’s too strange you ask that question because last week I had a sad dream where you and I were sitting and talking and I was telling you that I had fatal breast cancer in my left breast and was basically given a death sentence (NOT for real, it was only a dream). So you asked me what did I want the most before I died. I cried and told you that I wanted closure with my friend, whom I told you about last summer, and that anything else in my life I was at peace with and was ready to leave the earth if God said it was my time. You then said you’d help me to try to find closure with him before it was too late, and as I told you he lives in L.A. where you live, and even past guest appeared on your son’s show, your eyes got big. That’s all I can remember. I just remember crying a lot in the dream. You’d think over a year later I’d be over it but it hasn’t been resolved nor healed. There’s still so much pain and confusion left in my heart. That particular dream’s effects stayed with me for a couple of days after because I thought to myself, if you had asked me that, and God forbid it wasn’t a dream, that actually is what I’d ask for. I didn’t intend to ever tell you this dream, of course, but since you’ve asked. ;) Hope you’re all having a safe, awesome holiday together. God bless.


    P.S. after that, in my last 24 hrs I’d hug my precious Mom and thank God for the one person in my life who’s never left me, always loved me and showed it…and say bye to what’s been a pain-filled world, so far, and finally get to go hug Jesus; and even though I messed everything up down here, I hope He’ll hug me back.

  5. sunny mitchell says:

    I have been contemplating an RV trip throughout the USA for 2 or 3 months now and am looking for sponsors to help with my idea. I saw a Hero on CNN in the last year or two that rescues young girls from brothels in India taking the to a safe place and restoring their souls. Having been traumatized by rape at age 16, this speaks to my heart because I feel their pain and anguish and would like to find a way to help them to become educated and make a life for themselves. I am planning a trip to India for dental work around October or November of this year and I hope that I can find them and visit their new home and meet that wonderful woman who risks her life to save these young girls. I would really love some feedback on this. May passion is travel and I would like to combine my intense desire to help this cause.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is a difficult question for those of us who feel they have failed at their attempts to make their lives count for something. Realistically, if that day were today, it would be a day of great regret and disappointment for me. At this point in time my life is empty and frankly I feel very alone. I know the point of the question here is to get us thinking of how we might do things differently but the sad fact is, I just don’t know.

  7. Karrey says:

    I would gather all my family and friends together in once place and let each and everyone of them know just how much I love them and how wach one has made an impact on who I am today as a person.
    Also of course I would have my kids close close close to me and not let them go.
    Whew makes you cry saying that kinda stuff.

  8. Dr. Mom says:

    In reality, I may be in pain and suffering from whatever condition I may have, therefore, I would be doing nothing. Of course family and friends will be there. Having my husband next to me would be the last thing I want because allowing my child to see me pass on is not an option.
    If….I was fine then I would surround myself with friends and family, party a bit, and sip on my last cup of red wine before the time comes. I have to leave happy and leave friends and family knowing that I will be okay.

    We can only say it, but doing it may be harder.

  9. Janet says:

    I would write one letter to be read to everyone I care about and say anything I need to say to them to make them feel better after I am gone. I want to make them laugh and be happy. I’d probably run around the house getting rid of anything that might be embarrassing to find. I say this because when my dad died I found something very unusual and somewhat disturbing so I wouldn’t want my kids to find a sex toy. I would eat my favorite things, make love and listen to some good music.

  10. Anne says:

    I would go to the Ocean, my “favorite place in the world”, with my husband and daughter. We would breath clean, fresh salt water, run our fingers through the sand, swim in cool water and watch fish swim by. We would enjoy our last time together and recognize that there are bigger things out there in life for those behind to strive for. I’d tell them to move on with their lives and don’t go backwards. Remember me by visiting the ocean and listening to the whispering waves, feel the warm sunshine, view the colorful palet in the sky, hug each other, and I’ll be hugging them right back, always with them. There are no regrets in life. I’m ready to go when the time is here.

  11. Mrs. Cameron says:

    If today were the last day of my life, I would video my whole day. I would tell my husband and children how they have made my life so joyful, and that God loves them and will shower them with blessings every day if they just open their hearts and minds to His graces. Material blessings are important, they sustain the body, but our Lord will provide for you in even greater abundance.

  12. Donna says:

    I know that I would be with my loved ones and let them know that I will be ok. It is ok to grieve and be angry with me leaving even though I dont want to leave them. What a joy it has been for me that I was allowed to be apart of there lives. I know from my life what happens after a loved one passes, my son passed away May 20, 2010. It is very hard to understand why, hopefully I would be able to help them with the whole situation. JUST LET THEM KNOW THAT IT IS GOING TO BE OK. It will take time this I have found out the hard way.

  13. "Tom Leckey says:

    Since there are many people who suffer from a stroke I, the husband of a stroke victim, would appreciate a show that would inform me what the effects of a stroke might be and what is the normal progression of a person suffering from a stroke.

  14. Nona says:

    If I only had 24hrs to live…..
    I would not change anything. I all ready live each day giving things to needy children and people and working for free.. I volunteer for many things.
    I give back each day.
    I am thankful for my life.
    Actions speak louder than words. My children see my actions.
    I am at peace now.

  15. lucy says says:

    If I only had 24 hours to live, the truth is, instead of doing something extraordinary I would probably, most definitely lay on my death bed tired, sick, and sad. This is of course if I knew I was going to die. I came to this conclusion when Barbara, a friend of mine, went through a time when she knew she was going to die. I became sick knowing the agony she went through during this time, knowing I would have done the same thing. Just thinking about the day I will die makes me sick, and I don’t want to think of leaving my family behind, either.

  16. Gina says:

    I have the most wonderful family and friends. I would want my last day spent with them, plain and simple. I would love a nice backyard bar-b-que where everyone is enjoying themselves, laughing and living my last day in happiness. Lots of hugs and kisses from everyone!

  17. Emmanuel says:

    I am living not even close to my expectations in life because of my stupid mistakes in life and if I only have 24 hours more to live, I will spent the precious time helping everyone around me as much as I can. The least I could do can make a difference.

    Thanks for the question Dr. Phil.

  18. Nan says:

    I would grab my hiking buddy (my husband) and we would walk and walk and walk until I died. Kinda’ like what I am doing already….

  19. Peggy says:

    If I had only 24 hours left to live, I would carry on, business as usual, except:
    I’d notice the blessings around me that I so often overlook;
    I’d pay more attention to the people around me and not take them for granted;
    I’d remember to say “please” and “thank you” and “I love you”;
    I wouldn’t pay attention to the little things that usually irk me, because I’d realize how much they really matter (not at all, really, in the big scheme of things);
    I’d remember to laugh, smile, and rejoice in the little things because life is so short!

  20. randy says:

    my last day on earth?.

    i would call my dad, tell him i forgive him for all the things that he ever done to me, tell the guy who went to jail for 15 years convicted of rape, that i forgive him too. spend the day with my family and friends. to the best i can to feel like i’ve done something good, so that god doesn’t be hard on me when i arrive on heaven.

  21. janet says:

    Last 24 hours? First I would say a prayer for forgivness for any harm (intentional or othewise) for anything I may have done in life to hurt or harm anyone. Then I would make sure that family (especially my wonderful husband) and friends know that they should celebrate the life that was and not morn my passing. If I am not in pain, lets start the party now! I feel no special need to tell the special people in my life how much I love them, becuause I make a point to tell them everytime we talk or visit. Why? Because you never know I you will ever again have that oportunity again. Life is to short to waste on anger, hurt feelings, revenge or negetive feelings of any type. Besides any day that you wake up on this side of the dirt is going to be a great day! I live by an old saying, “Everything happens for a reason”. You may not understand what that reason is at the time, but you will usually figure it out somewhere along the way.

  22. lyn says:

    if today was my last day i’d have me time and friend time. first for me, to make sure my head was in the right place so that when i had friend time, i would be cool with them. not wreck our last time together. hey, i do that in my life already. sure wish my boss and some others at my job would be more conscious about how they treat us instead of vying for bully of the year award.

  23. Stephanie P. says:

    With my closest loved ones & we would stay at the nicest accommodations & eat the finest meals on me as I use my plastic.

    I am curious about how Megan was able 2 get her sponsorship. Obviously, someone provided her with that RV and she has scheduled PR appearences like on Dr. Phil. I am a social worker & a friend/former co-wrkr of mine are planing on a similar adventure.

    My friend just retired from a life dedicated to the service of others. She began when she left home from high school and joined the army. This was during the Vietnam era, when most were trying to avoid being in the service.

    Needless to say but two ladies who have spent the bulk of there lives as social workers would love to be able to raise money and awareness to another charitable cause.

  24. Linda Moffit says:

    I have lived an unhappy life. I am alone with my two beloved cats and am isolated and alienated. I often have thought leaving this earth life behind would be a happy occasion for me. I would try to see that my beloved cats were well cared for after my passing and kept together as they are, indeed, brothers of a sort. I don’t feel anyone would truly miss me. I have been accused of many wrongdoings and I often feel I must be a really bad person. I want my body to go to science so that no one has to pay for a cremation. Before that, I want all of my organs to be harvested insomuch as someone can make use of them. I would like a simple written announcement that I have died sent to relatives and no funeral or memorial. I would like my modest mobile home given to someone who is homeless or a homeless couple. My treasured books I would like given to a teaching in which the books would be valued. I would like to simply erase my life as a life poorly lived and one which deserves no particular attention.

  25. Sharon Davis says:

    I would bring my family together and have prayer with all of them and make them promise me to meet me in Heaven someday. I lost my husband of 43 years on September 30, 2009. He left a legacy in our family, our community, our church and for my life. He was the most wonderful Christian man that you would ever want to meet. He loved God first, then his family, our ministry and then his community. He sang like an angel even before he died. He visited jails, hospitals, and any place that would welcome his ministry. so, I would spend my last day on earth getting ready to move to Heaven. I hope and pray that everyone who reads this will find a wonderful peace that only God can give. God bless you and I will meet you on the other side of Glory.

  26. terry joy nelson says:

    I would spend the whole day tell people I’m going to be with Jesus and Why?

  27. terry joy nelson says:

    I would spent the whole day tell people about Jesus and why and how bless they will be to get to know the lord.

  28. choy says:

    I survived my parents. When I was 14 years old I knew I had to leave home to survive the abuse of my parents. My father had a gun and used it against my brother and me if we didn’t do what he told us to do. That is just one of many other kind of abuse from my parents. At age 15 I tryed to kill myself with an overdose. I survived because my fostermother called the housedoctor and he woke me up while I was almost deep “asleep”. After two weeks the housedoctor gave me a choice. Go into treatment by myself or wait till the mentall clinic would come to pick me up. I had to make a choice. I made my choice, since that day I promised myself that I would live every day as the last day. Being brave, being as strong as I can, as wise as I can and love this life as much as I can. Embrase the moments, even when it is so small and unmeaningfull. It’s still important to take every breath and see every day as a new beginning. I olmost died at age 15. I did saw the light and it was very peaceful, but it’s not as pretty as this life as I am living everyday. So I guess I live every day as my last 24 hours of my life.

  29. Dorothea says:

    If I would only have 24 hours left … for sure (!) , then I would,
    Finally tell people what I really think about them,without fear
    I would write a letter to my kids titled “the things I think you need to be prepared for”
    …so now i told everyone what I really think, I left some words of wisdom
    I hope the writing will take me a darn long time..otherwise those 24 hours will last long

    I would have a incredible great meal with the kids(id love it if my ex would be there too),my parents and my sister and her boyfriend
    then call their dad to tell him to pick the kids up (if he did not join for dinner)
    tell them all I love them for ever
    wave them goodbye
    and go to bed

    oh and I would not let anyone know I will die

  30. Tabish Khurram says:

    LIVE LIFE KING SIZE……………………………….

  31. FosterBoys says:

    To live every day like it’s your last day is a philosophy, designed to help remind us to stay focused on the things that matter in life, like family and friends. To distort it and twist it into the question, “What would you do if you had 24 hours to live?”, completely misses the point. Megan’s not living like today’s her last. If she really believed that, do you think she’d be so far from the people who love her? What she’s doing is noble and heartfelt and is clearly her passion right now.

    At first, I was going to say what I would do on the last day of my life. But then I realized what a morbid and pointless question it was — one that even you didn’t answer. Sorry.

  32. Teri Rockhold says:

    I believe if it was my last 24 hours to live I would give everything I own (which isn’t alot) to someone who needed it. I would gather all my friends and family in one place and hang onto them for as long as I could. I have been blessed in my life with great friends and family. My parents passed at a young age so I turned to my friends to be family. I am not well off with money at all, I work two jobs and go to college fulltime for my RN degree, it’s been a struggle but it will be worth it and I have support from all my friends. I love life and I do act as though it’s my last day everyday. I pray and smile and bless my friends everyday with quotes on friendship. So my last 24 hours would be spend telling our stories and loving them like I do everyday. Bless them all. Life is a struggle but you have to smile and go forward and if its my last day then I was blessed to be a part of their life. Simple things in life are free..a smile…Teri

  33. Janet says:

    I would call in sick to work and my excuse would be “I can’t see, I can’t see myself coming into work today” I always wanted to say that….The last two years of my life I have been very lonely, sad and depressed. Nobody in my family knows how I really feel, they all think I’m pretty happy but, I’m not. Truth is I have never been happy or in love. ever… I was married to an alcoholic for 20 years, I never did love him. I thought I could learn to love him but, that never happened. The only good thing that came from that marriage was my two beautiful children. I did divorce him 7 years ago and I have not met anyone worth loving. I always felt that I had a lot to offer someone but, that someone never came along. I have always been unlucky in love. I had always hoped that one day I would meet Mr. Right before I died so I could see what it would feel like to really have someone love me for who I am and for me to love them in that same way. Now that I only have 24 hours to live I’ll never know. I would lay in bed with the TV on an just die alone because that’s how I feel all of the time….Alone

  34. Wayne says:

    Having not lived a life that impacts many people, and having no family, I would simply hibernate. The few I do know have their own worries to attend to.

  35. Sylvia Paye says:

    What would I do if I knew it was the last day of my life? Well, indirectly, I have been there. My husband of almost 30 years was terminally ill. Fortunately he had a strong will to live, so we have months together knowing each day that it could be the last. And, we spent every one of those days laughing and making memories for ourselves and our family. There are many things that I haven’t done yet. And, I plan to do as many as possible. But, if this was my last day, all I would want would be to have my family around me and to be assured that they have many happy memories to last them a lifetime.

    I have tried to inspire my children to be happy, independent and appreciate everything they have, no matter how big or small. I am 67 years old, legally blind, a widow for seven years, and financially just so-so. My kids don’t feel sorry for me. They tell me that they admire me, respect me, and love me. What could I do the last day of my life that could possibly mean more than that?

  36. DeeAnn says:

    last 24 hours? throw an all night theme party. the theme? “going out of business” or entrance to heaven. maybe spoof the harry potter death day party the gryffindor ghost had. just something to make people laugh. hey, if you’e dyin you might as well get a few laughs in. i’d invite all my friends and family and get my favorite food places to cater and play my favorite games.

  37. LORI says:

    I think this is important question that most people should think about, but don’t. I lost my husband to cancer after a three year battle. He was only 48. He did not start out thinking he was going to die, but unlike the happy ending we so often hear about it did not go this way. However he lived his last years letting all people he cared about showing them he loved and cared for them. But the reality is that he could not do all of the things he had wanted to do. His very last days he could not communicate at all and it wasn’t like the endings you always see in movies or TV. Thats the true reality of the situation, that no one wants to really look at. So to any one really this, that day may come sooner than you think. Although you may not get to do things like the woman above, what you can do is appreciate what you do have, because once it is gone is not the time to understand what was valuable. show the people you love them and the little things they do for you like bring you coffee in the morning, having conversations about things going on in your live and even doing things that you dislike doing together like going to the landfil, becuase those are some of the very things I miss the most that most people take for granted.

  38. Lucy C says:

    I am the oldest of 5 and the single mother of 4 and gammy to 3. I have NEVER been worth much, got beat up by my mom everyday from age 11, physically and verbally. Made fun of by kids at school, sisters and brothers resented me because my mom turned me into their mom. Got raped at 16 after running away after being beatup by my mom, AGAIN! Came home to endure more abuse and disfunction. My children are and were my shining light and my greatest accomplishment in life. But my first born was fine at birth, then got sick and eventually ended up in a wheelchair and totally dependant on others for her care. Each time I got pregnant, my mom thought and said to me that I shouldn’t have more kids because she was going to need all my attention and that I was selfish. She showed no acceptance of the babies until the end, when they were due. I had no friends on a regular basis and never went to parties. My children are grown now, their father left Nov. 5, 1998. I have been alone ever since, never dating or going out because my boys didn’t want me to. I thought that in order to teach respect of women to my boys, I needed to respect them and their wishes. Now I get treated like dirt, called names and pushed to the side, told what I should do and when to do it, and if I ask for something to be done, I am told to wait or why can’t he do it or I will do it later, but never does. So what would I do if I had 24 hours to live? Kiss my grandsons and let them know they are so worth me getting up in the morning, clean my house, make my bed, write a final note to take with me, then be off on my own to a quiet place. I would wait alone and cry in private because my life is so miserable and not worth saving. I have been depressed for over 15 years and I guess I am so far off that the MEDS didn’t even work. I even have the suicide prevention number in my cell phone. How pathetic is that?! When I’m gone, eventually someone will find me and then they will find the note. No funeral, no wake, no service. Just burn me and let me go. And if my kids cry, its fake, don’t believe one tear as emotionally missing me, they will only miss the things I did for them and paying all the bills myself on my disability check of $1000 a month, while they my 20 year old and 22 year old son, didn’t finish school, doesn’t have jobs and hangs out, drinks and gets high with their buddies all day, everyday and NEVER does anything for their mother. NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I would just fade and NOT expect anything from anyone for any reason. My life has been me doing for me, my own and for others. Never has anyone ever paid one thing for me or volunteered to help me in my struggles. Therefore, it is appropriate and fitting that I do this alone as well. By the time anyone asks where I am, because they need a babysitter, or they are hungry, or can I do wash, I will be gone and then they will have to grow up and move on to their next victim.

  39. TONY NIGRO says:


  40. Lourdes says:

    I would spend all the time I had left with my two kids, my husband and my parents…they are the ones who love and are there for me through thick and thin.

  41. David says:

    I would breathe a sigh of relief…

  42. Maxime says:

    I would breathe a sigh of relief. I am not too fond of life these days.

    Then I would go to the ocean. I find the ocean to be healing and comforting. I haven’t been to the ocean since 1997. I really need to do something about that.

  43. Linda says:

    If I only had 24 hours to live I would spend it in God’s Country…Britsh Columbia back packing. I try to live my life like it is my last because I know how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away from you.

  44. Jackie says:

    I would love to spend my last time with all my children. I would hope that my two older girls would forgive me for being forced out of there lives against my will and that I could get a chance to love them, even if its just a short time. Have all 5 of my children with me would be the utmost wish I would desire. I leave it in the Lord’s hands now that one day we will unite.

  45. Susan Dockter says:

    Four young people in my rural county died tragically last weekend- devastating. They didn’t get the chance to finish their education, fall in love, have children….. and yet so many POS (my abbreviation) people continue to go on. I question this often— as my God does not kill the innocent and leave evil to flourish. I have a severely disabled child and assuring her care when I no longer can provide it is my primary concern so could not go “peacefully” until that is done. Then I would want to be with her and the rest of my family at home. As a retired ICU nurse I have seen things “worse” than death, though I would have some sadness at leaving my Earthly life.

  46. Tere says:

    I am surprised at how so many people have not really thought through this question. I think that personally, I would have regret, because I have regret now. Its not that I’ve done anything terribly bad or evil but I’m a loner and antisocial (and I’m only 37). If I had 24 hours I would be regretful that I still didn’t write that book I’m planning, that I spent my whole life playing avoidance of social activities etc. But I’d also spend it with my son and my husband (his dad). My son is so clever, he has two special needs but is also academically gifted. I’d go someplace nice with them, fresh air, sunshine, doing the things my son loves to do. I did have a brush with the thought of death, I had melenoma, but unfortunately, I can’t say I changed my life all that much afterwards. Life is precious, if only I could try and treat it that way…

  47. Susan Sacca says:

    Dear Dr Phil,

    I wouldnt make it a big deal at all. I wouldnt expect my family..my children to sit around my bed crying and waiting for the end. I think that is quite selfish.

    I am inlove with my bestfriend/my husband and since we live out of state, I would spend the day making a list of names of those people who made a true imprint accross my heart and I would write them each a thank you/love letter.

    What could I say to my children that I havent already said every single day of there lives? Of course each of them along with my brothers, my sister my brother in law My Momma and Father in law a few few select others and OF COURSE you too DR PHIL would recieve a letter from me.

    In my 20’s I used to be a blabbermouth. YAK YAK YAK….In my 40’s I quited my brain and I started to really listen to people. Found out what people were really made of were they givers or takers….I couldnt believe most people only cared about themselves actually disgusted me!
    If I ever won the megamillions I would be broke…besides taking care of my family and a choice few all that $$ would be gone to help humanity….

    My footprint would have been left accross there heartbut that is only in a wish and this is only a pretend blog…

  48. Esther says:

    I would spend it with my family and eat many different kinds of favorite foods. Then hugs them say…I’ll see you in a little bit. :)

  49. Linda Schilling says:

    If it was my last day to live, it would be very busy but very important. I would make sure I saw my kids and grandkids and hugged and kissed them, and reminded them that each of us will come to this day so be sure you are ready to meet your creator! I would tell my husband how much I have always loved him, and also, how much I really have in my savings acct.(Its a little more than he thinks) I would call friends to tell them what the friendship has meant to me. I would call a few people and tell them I forgive them, or ask for their foregiveness. Sorry Dr. Phil but I doubt if I would have time to watch your show that day, so I’ll ask for your foregiveness now. Then I would be prepared to see Jesus, and all my loved ones that went before me.

  50. Pamela Bartow says:

    If I only had 24 hours to live, I would spend time with my family. I’d call my closest friends and tell them I love them and am happy they were part of my life. But mostly, I would spend it with my husband, daughter, parents and brothers and their families. I would make sure they all knew without any reservation how much I love them, and that I want them to continue in this world making a difference and being the best they can be. To always remember to care for others, make sure others know how you feel before it’s too late. I know it sounds hokie, but honestly, this is what I would do. I would want to spend it laughing, loving, making more good memories with those I love the most.

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