Of lately, I’ve been pondering over death. Like the millions of people out there, the mere thought of it is enough to send shivers down the spine. While some have God and the idea of after-life to give comfort, many of us have nothing to dwell on. Regardless of what our belief is, the fact of life remains – all things must come to an end. All that lives must cease.
What’s the Scariest Thing About Death?
It’s not the process itself that I am scared of. It’s what happens after. Suddenly, you cease to exist and all memories, all that you’ve ever worked for comes to an end. Loved ones will mourn you for a day or two and after that life will go on. The things you leave behind – the clothes, the shoes, the books, the dairies will be mere remnants of your existence. What was once a living, talking, almost almighty human is now a grain of sand. You’d be lucky if you’re a legacy or a prodigy no one wants to forget. This leaves me with this realisation that every moment I spent worrying or struggling was not worth it. Every moment I spent should have been cherishing every breath that I had.
How Am I Coping With It
Now that I’m 30, I feel like I should start accepting this inevitable reality of life. I have elders in my family who are on the verge of death and for me seeing them go through life with their fears and their bravery is a painful experience. I’ve seen them afraid when they were severely ill. I’ve seen them cry with the thought that they will no longer be seeing us. I’ve seen them prepare for the day. And every day I marvel at their strength and resilience. To make matters worse, I am in love with life and with my husband. I can’t imagine the thought of losing him. I have a secret prayer in my heart that I’m afraid to share in case it may not be fulfilled. But when it comes to death, can prayers work? I don’t want to stay alive forever – no way. I just wish we could have the choice of choosing when to die.
But I think I’ve finally found a way to cope with this and to keep myself prepared for it. I’m trying to live happier now, trying to do things for my loved ones and trying to keep memories. I’m trying to be aware of each moment I spend with people I love.
If you, like me are trying to accept the idea of death, doing a few of these things would help:
Read, Write, Watch, Talk about Death
It doesn’t necessarily become an easier, but it does become more acceptable when we make ourselves familiar with death. We need to stop running away from it and to accept it as part of our existence. Regularly reading, writing, or watching and talking about movies on death could help us accept it better. Of course, this doesn’t mean getting obsessed with it, but it essentially means to live a life knowing that it could end any moment and you just got to give it your best.
Creating Memories for Tomorrow
How do you want to be remembered? And no you don’t need to write epics to be remembered. But leave back letters, messages in a bottle, in a notebook or in anything you have for your loved ones. Do whatever you’re good at and create memories. We’re so busy doing things for money that we get doing things for memories.
Training Yourself to Understand that Nothing Lasts Forever
A recent Korean Drama I saw (Goblin) had a memorable dialogue. ‘Not the deepest grudge nor the deepest love can last a thousand years.’ Nothing lasts forever – not our depression, not our happiness, not our hate, not our fears. Eventually, it all comes to a pass. If you’re caught up in an unhappy job, a lonely time or just a bad time, realise that it won’t last forever. You can however, use this understanding to make your life better, which leads me to the last point which is a question we often ask others and ourselves.
What’s the Point if I’m Going to Die Anyway?
The point is while you’re still breathing, it should be a life worth it. The point is you could do a million things and die in an instant, but does that mean to do nothing and wait for death? That is not the idea of life. You need to go on living, go on walking through the same road, doing the same things, dreaming the same things because living matters.
Live Each Day as it Comes
There was once a time when I would be frantic about fixing my life and planning for the next day. It would be a lie to say that I don’t bother now. I still do – I just don’t let it control me. I don’t let my wishes to move to another country control me. I don’t let my wishes to have my own business control me. I work for them and if I don’t get them, that’s fine. Atleast I tried. At least I did not lose today by working for a tomorrow that I don’t know if I could ever have. At least today I am happy.
It’s not easy to accept death because we are all so busy loving life, but it is this attachment that causes us to suffer. In order to suffer less, we need to take life less seriously.