Most of us live life as though we are certain there will be a tomorrow. And I suppose the reason is, there was one yesterday! With this frame of mind, many of us spend a lot of time waiting for the right circumstances; a full moon, after retirement or any number of other reasons to put off what we would rather not do. What is the old saying? “Never do today what you can put off til tomorrow”?
In addition to not taking action, we often go as far as not even thinking about those areas of life that seem unpleasant, difficult or challenging. And forget about having a discussion! Considering the subject of death, why talk about something that will likely make us feel nervous, fearful or sad? Who wants to ruin a perfectly good day by talking about an event that will happen–but not anytime soon? At least we hope not!
But for many of us, death will come sooner than we think, and almost certainly sooner than we wish. So although we may be young and in good health, it really is not premature to start remembering death! In doing so, we will not–contrary to popular belief–hasten its arrival! We purchase life insurance without worry that we will die sooner and as Jon Underwood, founder of Death Cafe said, “Just as talking about sex will not cause pregnancy, talking about death will not cause death.”
It was M Scott Peck who–in his famous book, “The Road Less Traveled“–said something to the effect that we would be wise to carry death around on our shoulder, allowing it to be a constant reminder that life is fleeting and death is near. If we can simply remember that this experience of life will not last, we will have the ability to increase our pleasure and joy! Like the diamond–or anything else which is precious because of its limited nature–life is more valuable BECAUSE it is finite!
Join a Death Cafe, write poetry about death, dare to bring up the subject with your friends and family, read any number of books on the subject! Keep it ever present in your awareness and you will improve your life.
And remember death, because life is a two part proposition. Life is not possible without death, and in reality, we would not even want it to be! We can let the remembrance of death be our reminder that life is lived in the moment and can not be lived any other way. Yesterday is gone forever and tomorrow is not here yet if it ever will be. Death has a natural place in this life, therefore can not be wrong. Try embracing it as if it is a dear friend–and I dare say–it is!