I was confused when my father said he was grateful for his pain. He couldn't sleep from the pain caused by cancer in all of his bones, from his skull to his toes. He said the pain reminded him of time, reminded him to be the person he had always wanted to be, now. It took me many years, after his death, to understand his gratitude and the message that he received from his pain: NOW; love now, live now. I knew he gave me a gift, but it took me years to understand how valuable it is. I now try to see the message in each fleeting feeling, including pain, then reach out to love and life, letting go of the feeling or pain, after it has served its purpose. I fail everyday, but keep practicing. That exercise is what will make me ready for anything in life and for death.