On Death

January 20, 2017
New life growing from death. There is not one without the other. Credit.

I have never seen something like this before.

I visited my uncle who had terminal cancer. His bed was placed in the living room. And her 5-month-old granddaughter was in her rocking bed a metre away.

A new-born and a dying person within a metre, literally from cradle to deathbed.

This is the first time I have seen life and death so close to each other.

I see that death is not only a figure on the news. It does not only happen in the movies. Death is non-negotiable, uncontrollable, and inevitable.

We are tirelessly working on career, family, relationship, talking about society and politics… but not being alerted of the simple fact: we are going to die. Death is more imminent that any parts of life mentioned above. 

We have lots to improve - we need to talk and think more about death. So much so that it is perfectly normal for having a morning ritual in front of the mirror, telling to yourself:

“Good morning love, you are going to die.
What should you do today?”
Don’t get me wrong. I am not here to deliberately wave the flags of dying fear. I am certainly not here to disrupt the positivity and aspirations of life.

Quite the contrary. I think it is possible to be well aware of death without taking away the essence of being alive, as Steve Jobs eloquently puts death in his Stanford commencement speech:

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

So, go on and live. Make the most of it. Find out why we are here. Relax. Work and strive hard. Get hurt. Enjoy the moments. Find our pack and love them. Go to the nature. Make mistakes. Educate our minds. Take a different perspective.

Say our goodbyes. Stop worrying. Expand our comfort zone. Make others feel good.

Live up to our purpose.

Amidst our daily comforts and pains, we need to be persistently live with a greater aspect: our death. There will be a time when we will be horribly deteriorating and lost our command on our bodies until our demise.

Despite all of our trials and tribulations, death will be the elegant conclusion of our existence.

We are merely a part of a bigger speck. None of us is going to make it out alive.

The Hubble Deep Field. This is space, just from a patch of night sky. Credit.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
― Mark Twain

Thank you for reading. To know me more, head on to my Medium (@jeevakanow) for my musings of life.
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