If you had 48 hours left…

Live like you’re gonna die the next day.

Nisandeh Neta




She died during Easter, only 18 years old.


When I was younger, we had a habit, during Easter, to congratulate each other with being alive. Back then, it was related to christianity. But even if you don’t have this connection, it can be a very valuable habit.

This habit gets you into a mode of gratitude… of being alive, being in a safe environment and not in a life-threatening situation… it’s very common for us and we hardly ever spend moments to think about it, let alone being grateful for it.


In 1997 my best friend Ellen died in a car accident at Easter.

We were on an Easter camp.


That morning… we all congratulated each other with our lives.

That afternoon… her boyfriend drove their car against a tree. I was in the car behind them and I saw the car leaving the road… I screamed… but screaming didn’t help.

I will never ever forget that place, the car, the tree, her white face, her white arm and the white face of her boyfriend who only broke his little finger.

Ellen was 18 years old, the funniest friend I ever had, sweet but powerful… full of life, plans, love and energy.


Her life stopped in a blink because her boyfriend tried to get a tape (for you millennials: some sort of old-fashioned cd) from the dashboard in front of Ellen who was sitting next to him, driving straight forward instead of steering to the left and follow the road….

It’s 21 years ago. The hurt, the grief, the mourning, to me it’s mainly a memory. More than this, I remember the fun that we had and the good conversations, sitting on the bridge in the park. I forgot about the fights, she was fierce and passionate… and very stubborn.


That’s how life soothes us. We keep the good memories.


And it made me wonder… suppose that I knew I would die tomorrow… how would I spend my last days?

Would I still be writing this blog?

Well, maybe I’d send you a quick note with exactly this message. For the rest…. I probably would spend my last hours with the people I love the most. And perhaps I’d go for a quick run: my body would run, and my mind would be thinking of all the things and people to be grateful for.

Thinking about my Easter weekend made me happy with the choices I made.

I spent my days with the people I love. I spent the rest of my hours doing the things that I am passionate about. Cooking (I would absolutely make sure I would only eat fantastic food in my last hours), running, some work and learning new things and skills.  

Now ask yourself…. If you knew you were going to die in 2 days… how would you spend these 48 hours?

Would you sleep?

Who would you visit, call, would you spend time alone and how?

Let me know in the comments…

Now that you know this… is there anything you’d like to do, or plan, differently?


Happiness is all about spending your precious time on the things and people that are important for you.

If you want to find out, from your heart, what is important for you, then come join me on April 15, in Nieuwegein.

Use the discount code “dreamlpd and come for only €47,- (incl VAT):

Register here… 

Looking forward to meeting you there!

Until then…

Live fully and be awesome…




  1. Alex

    If I have 48 hrs to live….., I would enjoy spending every second with my wife and kids…tell them that is more important to investigate where you came from instead of thinking about death and the afterlive…if you are aware of a so called “before” live, you know that leaving the present condition is just going home….never the less, the emotions we feel when a person closeby dies, is incredible…love keeps the world go round…each day around 300.000 lives end…we spin quit hard I guess.

  2. Dimitris Bronowski

    Thinking about this question, I realized I have too many open loops. Too many things, relationships, emotions, plans, obligations that I have not yet experienced, tried, fully engage in, shared, fulfill etc…
    I (can only guess that I) would try to close those loops. I would call the people I love and tell them the one thing I am grateful for having in my life because of them.

    I would tell to my beloved ones to celebrate me passing away and whenever they struggled with life’s problems to always ask themselves: What’s the worst that can happen? And when they get an answer to that question, ask themselves a second one: And if the worst happens, how would I make the best out of it?

    Then I would turn to my wife and simply say:
    That was an awesome ride, I am so glad I met you!

    Then I would turn to my son and say: Take good care of your mama son! (For those that are not sure how to do it, here is a tip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WZWQvKoquo )

    Then I would make sure to call all my friends that can help my family, and ask them to check with them every month. Taking care of your family does not need to stop with death. Being on that topic, I would also do a fun exercise. I would try to think how my wife’s and son’s life would be for each of the next years, and I would use one of those services that deliver gifts. I would schedule for two gifts to arrive to my house every year, one for my wife, and one for my son on their birthday. Something stupid and funny.

    Ohhh!!! And I would record some videos of me talking to my wife and son. Maybe 50 videos, making sure they can see one every two years. It is always cool to send a message from the beyond. It is basically haunting in the 21st century 🙂

    Now that I am thinking about it… I am going to record a few videos right now… After all, you never know, maybe I indeed die in 48 hours… (I will make sure to check-in in two days here and let you know if I am still alive… 😀 If you don’t hear from me… Well…)

    P.S. Wouldn’t be great if we all checked in in two days? :-p
    P.S.2: I have the feeling that question made me have more fun that I thought I should, but hey!!! Life is life (for the next 48 hours at least)

  3. Emmy Stelling

    Incredible this story of your friend. Life is so precious and yet so quick it can end.
    I would spend time with my son, my family, my dearest friends. Make it a last celebration of being together, express my love for them, invite everybody to take something to eat with them what we share together, have music and Enjoy their good company. Call the father of my son who lives in Dubai. Leave a message of love and good wishes for my son, my life lessons as a gift to him. Look back to all the happy moments we created together. Sent out a word to all women who feel they need love, trust, power, recognition and justice.

  4. Robert van der Wolk

    I’ve had several occasions in which I had the opportunity to die. I’ve survived a coma, after-surgery medication overdose, and many more occasions where I was on the brink of stepping over the ledge of my life — and yet, here I am.

    It’s easy to theoreticize what we should do in case we get the bad news, or in any hypothetical situation. Only by living through directly or indirectly we can discover the choices we make in the moment that shape the final course of our lives.

    Asking this question, however, is a great way to find out what is most important for yourself – since that would most likely be the thing or things on your mind you’d want to do.

    For mep personally, I’ve discovered that my biggest reward in life is to offer and give value to others. Since material possessions cannot be taken into the afterlife, why not spend the money on that what is feeling your passion? For me, that would be making sure my work lives on long after I’m gone.

    It is so easy to think we would do something different when the timer has been set, but fact is, that for most of us, there will be no change… until it’s too late, or until there is hardly any time left.

    The quote at the top if this article captures the essence of it all, and I would be truly satisfied when more people live not as if it’s their last day on Earth, but as if they knew that the timer has been started a long time ago and there is only so much to do and be until it is over.

    Thank you for this reminder Gerdy,


  5. Elske van de Fliert - Zero-e

    I enjoy what I do and I do what I enjoy. Every day. Sometimes the first thing gets the better of the second. Then I am happy, but stagnant. So I remind myself as well to do what I enjoy. Live on purpose and bring something to the world.
    Never take life for granted, never take loved ones for granted, never take what I have for granted. But enjoy life to the fullest!

    I feel for you – losing someone at that age. It is devastating. But it also learns you things you will not learn otherwise.

    If I had only 48 hours to live, I would thank everyone I know for the awesome time I had on this earth and tell them: Enjoy life like you never have before when I am gone.

  6. Trudy van Oostrum

    Hi Gerdy,

    I agree fully with you.

    Hi Sweetie

    Remember the GOOD times, think of her smiles and learn from it.

    We need to understand until our bones;”There is no later !”

    See you the 15th.


  7. Bob Kars

    This blog could be made into a movie. Seriously dumbfounded reading about the car crash.

    Currently, I’d just let everything be and spend time with my sister. But if I’d ask myself at another time, I could as well be giving training, have a deep conversation, travel through nature or do other things I love.

    Or just be with me. That’s what I did this Easter weekend: no appointments, just time for me and do whatever I feel like.

    A great question to check if I am still doing what I love, or if I am (very slowly, but surely) drifting away. Keeps me full of life, if checked regularly!

  8. Paul van Dijck

    Wow, what an impressive story, Gerdy. Thank you for sharing. It makes me quiet.
    In my last 48 hours, I wouldn’t make plans anymore. I would do the last preparations for the family I leave behind, do a last attempt to reunite two people I love, organize a last celebration of life and arrange my immaterial testimony, that is sending a message about inspiring each other, to the world.


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