Unless someone we know/know of passes away (interesting euphemism), we don’t think about the fact that one day, we’ll cease to exist on Earth anymore. We all continue to live our lives, run errands, go to work, do the chores, and relax and have fun when we can. While death is a taboo topic (probably religious undertones to it), I still think we need to acknowledge what death teaches us.
All of us make several choices a day, and we have a lot of freedom with those choices. Unfortunately, we cannot make the choice to live forever (maybe in the future with robots and downloading our conscious), and it’s a scary thought. Sometimes at night when I’m lying in bed, chills run down my spine and the hairs on my arms raise just thinking about the fact that one day, I will not get to experience life anymore.
(Side note: For those of us who have depression that might think of death often as an escape sometimes, which is a permanent solution to a temporary problem — medication and counseling are helpful in diminishing these thoughts — let death teach you to embrace life.)
So, what does death teach us? It teaches us to notice the small things and be grateful for them, like the warmth of the sun on your face or the splashes of rain, the wind breezing through your hair, and the feel of grass underneath your toes. It teaches us to savor the hops in beer and the taste of your partner’s lips with a kiss. It teaches us to appreciate the sound of a child’s laughter, the touch of soft fur on a puppy, and the feeling you get when your food at a restaurant arrives.
Death also teaches us to dig deep into ourselves to consider what we desire most in our life. If your dreams are to build a career, have a good life with a soulmate, or to exercise until you’re fit, then you know you’ll have to face many fears and obstacles along the way, but do it anyway. If some of your friends and family don’t support you, do it anyway. If you think you just can’t go on or you keep procrastinating, take a breather, stop with the excuses, and do it anyway. (Granted that these things are good and legal.)
No one said life was going to be easy. No one said there aren’t going to be @$$holes who try to get in your way. While you cannot “live life to the fullest every day,” you can certainly appreciate the small things, work inch by inch towards your goals and dreams, embrace new opportunities to try new things, travel and meet people, and realize that you will fall and fail sometimes, but you only get this life (that we know of). Screw being in a rut or being paralyzed by fear. Screw the haters and naysayers. It’s better to celebrate the small victories along the way and keep trying, then to give up or do nothing.
What positive things has death taught you?
Thank you for reading!