Conversation on Death and Dying
“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.”- Leonardo da Vinci
A while ago, I had a conversation with a friend on the topic of death and dying. Here is how the conversation went…
Me: Death drives me. I think of death every single day.
Friend: In what sense? Would you say that you are actively seeking it, or does it drive your decision-making process?
Me: Knowing that I have limited time here, makes me want to make the most out of it. Scarcity leads to appreciation. Remembering death keeps me in the present moment.
Friend: And living in the present is the key of a happy life.
Me: Most people deny death. That's why most people are anxious about anything small or big. Every "problem" we face stems out of our denial of death.
Here is a little secret... I cry every day when remembering death. I force myself to face the truth.
Friend: Because you didn’t achieve what you want?
Me: Because it’s a tragedy.
For example, when I wake up in the morning and have a workshop in the afternoon. I think I may not live by then to deliver it.
So, that’s kind of a yes to your question.
It's like I cry because I know I may not do it. And I cry because I am the only one who knows about this possibility. And I can't tell others or remind them of this.
It makes me feel alone knowing the truth and facing it on my own, and not being able to tell others about it (because they will call me a pessimist, or drama queen…)
And yet it’s my source of power. It keeps me in the present. It makes me okay with being idiot, failure... you name it.
Did I mention that every human being is an idiot, failure…?
Friend: But won’t you say that acknowledging death and living your life accordingly is more powerful than constantly reminding yourself of it?
Me: It comes in cycles to me. I keep forgetting the truth. My mind constantly fools me or blocks me from facing the truth. So, I fuel myself again with the truth.
I can't find a way to remind myself once a month and keep the power of that truth last.
Friend: Doesn’t it hinder you?
Me: Never hinders me.
I never found the possibility of forcing death or committing suicide an option for me. Yes, I think about it. While driving my car, I think about leaving the steering wheel and just dying in a road accident or jumping off the balcony. But I don't like that option.
Friend: Why not? Religion?
Me: I'd rather die after living a meaningful life than have a meaningless life.
To make it meaningful, I'd hold the steering wheel straight to live through the day and go deliver that workshop to make my day meaningful.
That's pretty much how I live my life. If I tell my friends or family, they'd be worried about me.
Friend: It’s a drive, a corner stone. We all have something like that.