Do you ever contemplate death?
Whenever I am in the UK, I spend as much time with my family as possible.
I love to visit the family home in Bexhill where my mum and grandfather live and every day I spend with them I am acutely aware that in the next 10 to 20 years, everything will be different. My grandfather certainly won’t be around and maybe my mother won’t be either. It is unlikely we will have this family home where I have spent so many happy years and these precious moments I am spending with them now will be nothing more than a distant memory.
This doesn’t make me feel sad. It makes me embrace the moment and enjoy it. I, like most people, love my mum and grandfather to bits but knowing that I make time for them now will leave me with no regrets when they pass on to the other side.
The problem is, however, that we don’t contemplate these things very often. We live in a society where death is hidden away from us and rarely discussed or talked about. Most people never reflect on the fact that the body they have been given is only temporary and go about their daily lives thinking they are going to live forever. As a result, they do not appreciate the things around them but tend to moan and complain about them instead.
It is only when we become seriously ill that we start to realize that actually, death is very real and it is going to happen to us.
The first thing we experience is a complete state of shock:
“How awful, how dreadful! I can’t believe this is happening to me! This is the worst thing ever, oh why me???”
Because everyone and everything comes to an end and you are a ‘part’ of that everything. Nothing escapes it.
In order to fully appreciate life, you must also fully appreciate death.
Think about it, contemplate it. Remind yourself every single day that it is going to happen to you.
Realise that there will never be another ‘today’! Each and every day that passes is taking you closer and closer to the big “D”. That the health you have now is only temporary. That the love you have for your family and friends is only temporary. That everything that you think is so important and everything that you have worked so hard for in life is temporary. Nothing lasts!
Realise that no matter what you do with your life, what mistakes you make, whether you consider yourself a success or a failure, it doesn’t matter and no one will care or even remember you 100 years from now.
Just do what you feel will make you happy, today. Enjoy the people you want to be with, today. Do the work that you want to, today. Appreciate everything that you have in life, today. Because it will be taken away from you and you never know when!
Through contemplating the reality of death, we can put our lives into perspective and understand what really is important and what isn’t. So think, do not hide the thought away, but bring it to the forefront of your mind regularly and make every day count!