In a previous blog many facets, many colors and aspects of grief and bereavement were described (see: “The Landscape Of Mourning”). This week we visit the border of this landscape, a border that for us has the meaning of death.
We will not discuss life after death, a life of which many of us have different opinions whether this exist or not. For us it exists, but that’s not today’s topic. It is about life before death and the realization that our life is finite. What always strikes us in interviews, is that everyone knows that we will eventually die but we do not want to talk, let alone think about it.
And then suddenly death is there. Isn’t that a loved one, a family member or a friend deceases, then it might be that you yourself are seriously ill or that you feel you your end of life approaching. Then, you suddenly realize all those many things you still want to carry out, and all those things you need to arrange, want to enjoy or want to see. Then it dawns that life is short indeed. That you need to make choices because there is not enough time anymore to carry out those things on your wish list. Choices that make you realize what in your life is truly important and what not. Suddenly you start living more consciously. It doesn’t matter whether you wanted to realize this earlier in your life or not; you can’t set back the clock. The only thing left for you to do is to realize that you are living today and that you need to get most out of it every single day.
The more we think about death, the more conscious and more intense we are going to live. In itself this is not shocking. We have always known this but we should have realized this earlier. A number of famous quotes:
- Do not put off until tomorrow what you still can do today (Dutch proverb).
- Dare to live (A Song of Dirk Witte 1917).
- Who teaches people to die, also learns them to live (Montagne).
- Who fears death, loses even life he has (Cato).
- Death is a challenge that tells us not to waste time. That tells us right now to say that we love each other (Leo F Buscaglia).
In a nutshell, live and get the most out of it. Don’t wait for tomorrow, but start now.
Well, easily said, but what do you do when you’re old and all your loved ones around you have left in a short time frame. What can you do, and what do you still want to do? And, do you still have sufficient energy left?
As usual, the world keeps turning round and round. However, your world is not anymore the world that was. The time you have left is getting shorter and shorter. You try to do all the things you feel you still need to complete. As bizarre as it sounds, the only thing that remains, is enjoying all those beautiful things that you can share and that you can do for each other.
And never forget to live and to enjoy all the beautiful things in life that still lies ahead.