Been reading about children with cancer on Human of New York so far. It makes me think of course about death. I think thinking about death is a normal thing, not that only depressed people think of death.
We’re all marching towards our own deaths, so it’d be strange to not, at some moment, stop and think about this destination. Death is a part of life, so it’s fine to think of it just as we’d think of buying house, having kids, they are all parts of life, and they deserve to be treated equally.
Thinking of death makes clear to me how to live the rest of time I have left. Am I wasting my time while my clock is ticking? Sprinkling too much energy on petty stuffs rather than focus on what’s the important things. And then come the question what’s the important things to focus on. Most don’t know. Most of the time we’re living in ambiguity, trying to figure out meaning of our life.
Those people who are fighting with cancer don’t have this problem. They know they have maybe some years, maybe some months. They have a hard deadline and not so much future, so suddenly things got clear to them what they want in their life, once they know they will not have the time for it any more. Of course all want to have a long life, to eat all the good food, visit all the exotic places, become someone, have a terrific career, read some masterpieces, etc. But if you can’t have a long life, then do live a short life. Feel it. Be real. Don’t fake even just to stay strong. Because this dying one need to feel the connection with the real you. In these short moments they have left.
I finished Anna Karenina not long ago. The lasting impression is also about death. Death by itself is an ugly and brutal thing, yet not always we comprehend it. Death can be deemed to be revenge, relief, whatever. But by itself, it is the stop of your existence. So ask: do i want to stop to exist? It’s a different question from: do I want to stop to suffer? Sometimes we mistake these questions for each other. For Anna, she realized it only the moment she was lying across the rail, too late to reserve her decision. For her, ‘if I kill myself, he’ll be sorry.’ And it’s the fun of seeing him sorry that motivate her to die. But death is more than just the fun of seeing some vicious one sorry. Fun is a part of life. She’s already on the other side.
Aware of death gives you conscious living. Coping with death is a very emotional thing. Because it’s in fact coping with the whole of your life suddenly, all at once, and it’s overwhelming. But emotion is also a part of life. Death is out of its realm. And what’s why it’s powerful.