On Life and Living


Picture of Laura Paisley Beck

Laura Paisley Beck

Freelance Content Creator

My mother died last night. I heard her gurgling rattle-heavy breaths in her hospital bed while I tried to tuck myself into the couch and meditate with DavidJi. My thought when I put the Airpods in my ears and pulled the thin blankets over my fully clothed body was, We’re going to be here all night, again, and I need some rest. Dad sat right there at her side watching her labored breath. I didn’t hear her two nearly silent attempts at breath before the stillness. 

The disturbing silence broke me from my body scan. Dad looked like a sweet gargoyle overlooking the bed from “the comfy chair.” The nurse’s face fell from comforting to stoic and my mother’s body sank into deflated permanence.

Is she breathing?


I approached the hospital bed and side-hugged my Dad.

And I don’t hear a heartbeat anymore, either,” said the nurse.

Every heartbeat in my chest and blink of my eyes seemed so garish. The scent of day-old deodorant and the perfume from a Mrs. Meyers sachet, so pompous. Who am I to take life for granted?

Dad stayed with Mom while I called my siblings one by one, pacing the quiet hospital hallways and dark waiting room in my stocking feet.

Mom’s gone.

At a completely different time of day, one of the hours in the past seven days in the hospital that blur together, Dad shared with me videos of people living on sailboats. Sun-bleached people MacGyvered repairs in the middle of an ocean, or made friends with sea lions while scuba diving off an island, or motored to shore (no wind) in time for a beach party with YouTube fans and fellow sailors. 

One salty chap said, “Don’t dream of life, live the dream.

Quotes like that invite pause and reflection before action. Hearing mottos like that remind me to recalculate if I need to recalibrate. A long life means nothing to me if I haven’t dared to be bold, or brave enough to earn a living with passion. Considering my family health history, this means I should adventure physically, mentally and socially, just as long as I start each day with steel cut oats, consume a daily rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and stay hydrated.

How cute that you think I’m joking. 

OK- I’m a bit suspended in grief right now. I might as well be swimming into ectoplasm while I help my family with arrangements and design a memorial booklet in Canva. Or maybe it feels more like The Nothing is slowly pulling me apart into pieces.

But here’s the thing- somehow teammates, friends, far off cousins, and people who only know me through my amazing Dad are showing up to pull me back together because you believe in me even when I’m so tired I can’t believe in myself. Because of all of this love, I see a glimmer of sand from the life I’m creating as a freelance writer and feel a tickle of more opportunity.

I get to work from anywhere at any time, travel to the coffee shop a half hour walk away or to Portugal on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I’m fortunate enough to work with creative teams who believe in making the world a better place, one solution at a time. I loved my career and life before – after a week in the hospital watching my mom die, and receiving so much support from incredible people, I love it even more.

You might be reading this because you are one of those people. Thank you.

Thank you for your love, patience, and support.

I do not take that for granted.

About Laura Paisley Beck of Wa’am Writes, LLC

Laura Paisley Beck sharpened her copywriting skills as a serial entrepreneur and corporate trained salesperson for decades. She started Wa’am Writes, LLC to finally live out a happy, healthy, comfortable life as a writer. Her sales and business experience + writing skills = copywriting super powers to help uplift businesses and organizations she believes in. When she is not writing and networking, Laura enjoys long walks with Janis Pup, dancing, cooking, silent sports outdoors, seeking Wow (Woods or Water) and dreaming of digital nomad life in Portugal. Want a colorful, experienced, successful writer for your content? Schedule time with Laura Paisley Beck today!