At CNN.com today, You’re Going to Die the Way You Live tells us a little about living before dying. The article is about the terminally ill, some who take the time to execute life-filled forms of closure with family, friends and even enemies before their time has come. It is about the fact that too often the time left is used only for tying up loose ends and making final arrangements rather than living life to the fullest and dying the way one has lived. Too often, the time left is spent on just being afraid.
Fear of the unknown, as I can only imagine, must be one of the most difficult obstacles to living right before death. I have thought before about dying. I have even thought about an ‘afterlife,’ although temporally speaking rather than matter-of-factly as a place or physical state. I don’t subscribe to the concept of heaven or hell and I am very satisfied with the reality that I don’t know what will happen to me when I die.
I do know that there are a lot of things of which I am afraid. For example, I am afraid of even writing this post, for fear that this writing will be prophetic or simply coincidentally and unfortunately timed.
Being afraid of death, however, can only ever be from the perspective of being alive. Ultimately, I believe without knowing, that my fear is insignificant because just as we are unaware of life before we live, we will be equally unaware of death after we die. I am not immune, however, to taking comfort in the thought that our loved ones in death are still with us somehow and are indeed, paradoxically, dead but conscious of where they are and where we are.
Finally, I am afraid of missing out on life, a fear certainly taken from the perspective of life. Not to trivialize death, but I liken it to having to leave the party at its climax or having to leave in the middle of a very stimulating conversation. After death, I am no longer able to contribute my thoughts and I will not hear the rest of the story. Instead, a snapshot of me will be captured and frozen there for all of eternity or until the last memory of me has been forgotten or forgone.
In spite of my fears, I want to live everyday of my life to the fullest before dying. Although this article was inspired by a writing about life before death for the terminally ill, I think that each of us should hope and wish for a long and prosperous life, while setting aside our fears and living life to the fullest before we die.
TOUGH LIFE THURSDAYS is a self-development forum. This is likely to be biased toward my own experiences and desired self-improvement, but I hope it will evolve through input by you and others. If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.