Trigger Warning: Mentions of death, dying.
I am not saying we are not going to die- we all know we will die, but we don’t believe it. Nor am I talking about sudden or painful death. I am trying to put you here in the shoes of those who know that death is approaching soon and surely, and there is nothing they can do about it.
“It’s funny how so many of us want to die when we want to start living.”
This has been my favourite anonymous quote ever since I laid my eyes on it. This quote summarizes the mentality of my generation (gen z) and every millennial out there. Every second youngster you meet had expressed this wish for death at some point jokingly when things weren’t smooth.
This gets you thinking about what would the scene be if this wish were granted.
Think of those who have been given a lease of a few years, few months, few weeks or, God forbid, maybe a few days our hours.
Life must be difficult for those who somehow got incapacitated and depend on others now that their body hosts some paralyzing disease; it’s not any better for those who are seemingly healthy but can feel their time coming to a close.
In these last days before death, you are left thinking how and with whom you want to spend this time. Here, life doesn’t pass, and it is lived. It is lived one precious day at a time.
There are realizations you have; you realize how you have been sleepwalking all this time, never really experiencing anything fully and how you automatically attended to things you once thought mattered. But now you are more in the moment, and you try to live it all, completely drown every strand of your existence. If you’ve seen ‘the sky is pink’, you probably know what I am getting at. You wish how you would’ve done this all the time if you knew any better.
You realize how minor your dislikes and hate towards people were in front of time. You meet people with a sense of purpose, with a sense of responsibility, not just for the sake of being, or you just happened to meet eyes or passed by physically. You don’t talk unnecessarily; you listen. You listen, with the ultimate hope that you’ll be wrapping this all up in a large carpet and leaving to somewhere uncertain after the final certainty.
Now that you have finally understood the value of time, you shave off many activities and focus on the essentials. You focus on what matters. Suddenly the cloud of confusion lifts, and there is clarity in life, clarity of purpose, and you know what to do and grind in with all of your best efforts to make it happen.
The Nickelback lyrics– “leave no stone unturned and leave your fears behind” – are valid in all senses. There is nothing left to fear, nothing to pine over, no materiality you wish for. In the final days before your death, all you wish for is the satisfaction of being—the satisfaction of having no regrets.
To all the people who want to ‘die’, procrastinate, fear, tease their keyboards to spread hate left and right out there you need to realize that death is slowly creeping towards you and by the time it will be on you and all these truths and realizations stare you in the face it’ll be too late to act on anything. There is a reason why they say live as if you were to die tomorrow.
“Learn how to die, to learn to live“
– Tuesdays with Morrie