“I’m not going by fire or water,” said Sue.
“Me neither,” I responded. “And I’m certainly not I doing cancer. “
“Then how would you want to go,” Sue asked?
My dear friend, Sue and I have had some pretty odd discussions over the years, but this was one few people like to discuss. Death is a taboo subject in our deathaphobic culture. The only ones who speak freely about it are typically those who are very ill or very old and look ahead with longing for a more peaceful existence.
Yet, death is something we all will experience. At some point we all pass from this life to the next.
The reasons for our fear of the inevitable are many. We fear the unknown. What will become of us? Those who do not believe in a “better life” worry about what will become of their soulful remains.
Most of us don’t want to go without clearing up loose ends—getting rid of our personal treasures, documenting our final wishes, and making amends with those we’ve offended.
Others may fear going before they’ve made a credible mark on the world. We may want to leave a favorable legacy for loved ones. And of course, we fear leaving the ones who are dearest to us.
A century ago, people lived about 30 years less than we do. Most of us have significantly more time than our ancestors. And many causes of death today are due to an unhealthy lifestyle. In those cases, lives are shortened by our own doing.
Thoughts of death do not have to be uncomfortable but rather a reminder to live well. No one knows when their time will come. What we do know is that death will happen at some point. Every moment we are here is an opportunity to enjoy our life gifts, share our love, and focus on people rather than things.