How to Live a Joyful Life

November 18, 2014 4:26 PM

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It was raining, a grey drizzly day. But the leaves on the trees were bright shimmering jewels, orange and red, with clinging pearls of water. I walked along the Hudson River from the subway, taking a longer route by getting off at Chambers, headed to the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The music of Jay Z and Biggie Smalls filled the auditorium as I settled into a seat. Hundreds of New Yorkers, elegance in black, kissed and hugged, stood and sat, waited and fidgeted. Surrounded by windows, the mist pressed in, but none of us knew what to expect. The hip young woman in charge was the rabbi; friends spoke eloquently; Andrew Thomas Reid strummed an original song; Marc Cohn serenaded with "The Only Living Boy in New York." At the end, my widowed friend Jan stood up, turned to face us, and lifted her palms with authority for us all to rise. We danced, swaying gently to Florence + The Machine's "You've Got the Love," leaning on one another. We let the love of a man who left too soon flow from one to another around the room. There was no doubt Glenn was there, no doubt that he would keep that love flowing, but he would have to use our bodies now. Never have I laughed and cried so hard at a funeral.

1. Wake up grateful for every breath. Glenn, even after his diagnosis of terminal cancer, said that he had no bucket list because he had the best life, and would not have traded his journey with anyone (except maybe Derek Jeter!). Breath is a daily miracle. Thank your parents, God, chaos, the Big Ba...

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