"Before I Die" global project comes to Gainesville

Published: Apr. 2, 2018 at 11:21 PM EDT
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A global art project is making it's way to North Central Florida.

It's called "Before I Die" and encourages people to reflect on their lives.

With a steady hand, Melissa Gonzalez wrote in Spanish:

"Before I die I want to serve others.”

On an island more than 1,000 miles away, she fell in love.

"I actually had like a really life changing experience like a couple weeks ago,” she said.

She went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

"A lot of the things that I was doing, to me, seemed really little and could have almost seemed insignificant to some other people but it was changing other people's lives. So that made me realize that's what I wanted to do. Forever. Until I die.” she said.

Some people want to adopt a child and others want to grow a garden but no matter what you want to do before you die, the wall invites anyone to write what's at the top of their bucket list.

"I feel like that's what the ultimate goal of this board is to really pin point what it is that you want to do,” Gonzalez said.

The chalkboard walls are up all around Gainesville and are a part of a global art project.

The mission is to motivate people to reflect on their lives and encourage them to write out an advance directive.

An advance directive is a statement explaining what a person would want to happen with their medical treatment at the end of their life.

"It kinda takes people away from that superficial outlook. It takes away from all the hype, the streets, the studying,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez thinks the chalkboard walls put up by a group from UFHealth bring introspection, helping her focus on what's most important to her in life.

“Because there's a lot of things I want to do before I die,” she said.

The walls will be up until April 30th.

Community Locations

- Alachua County Senior Center

- Bo Diddley Plaza

- Depot Park

- Haven Hospice Attac Thrift Store

- Possum Creek Park

- Santa Fe College

- United Church of Gainesville

UF Campus

- Reitz Union

- Psychiatric and Rehab hospitals

- Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Institute

- Sun Terrace

- 1329 Building

- Facilities and Admin Building

- Cancer Resource Center