A Blog about DEATH?!? So far, the responses from my friends and family have been mixed.
The top elements of “What The?” were:
Why six months?
Procrastinate much? I do! That’s why I’ve given myself this fake timeline. For me, setting a deadline is the only way I get things done. If it’s the same for you, please join the process for yourself! To me, six months is an achievable time to get the cobwebs of my life cleaned out.
You seem so cheerful, why would you want to dwell on death?
It’s a bit weird, I know. I haven’t really thought about death since I was an anxty teenager. I know it’s sad thinking about leaving behind the ones we love. But this blog is more about embracing the short time we have here and getting the most out of it.
My motivation is based on observation: Have you ever noticed how the things that are supposed to make us happy (like leading a fairly safe and secure life) don’t always make us happy?
Have you ever met a person who has faced their own mortality and suddenly grasps their fate with both hands and makes sure they achieve what they want from their life?
Have you noticed how people are brought together in moments of crisis and often develop a great sense of meaning in life?
The theory is, that realizing our inevitable death is likely to make us quite happy!
I think, in general, we are too sheltered from the fragility of our own lives. To the point where we lose perspective on what’s important.
I know you can’t simulate an epiphany but I hope people can use this blog to give themselves a little perspective ‘snack’.
I’ve found it very useful throughout my life to pause and mull over the following questions: What would I do if I had one month, one year and ten years to live?
Of course, the answer to one month is very different to ten years. We can’t live in perpetual embracing of the moment or we would never work towards any long-term goals. A key part of our evolutionary progress is our ability to suffer short-term discomfort for long-term gain. So in the spirit of short-term discomfort let’s dwell for a moment on our moment of death.
Top 5 Moments:
Who knows what will happen during our actual death. Some people say that life flashes before your eyes (how would anyone know?).
THAT ASIDE My question for today is, If you died right now, what would be the five moments that would flash before your eyes? Why five? I dunno, it’s not too restrictive, not too overwhelming. So go on, get out a pen.
To get the ball rolling, here are my top five. They are not necessarily my ‘happiest’ moments, but those times in my life when the rollercoaster was poised right at the top, in a peak of life. In chronological order:
1) Seven Sisters: Staring up at the seven sisters constellation as a kid on Cirkidz tour in the Riverland, South Australia. I was lying in the grass, staring up at the stars and suddenly I was struck by the thought that these seven stars would always be in the sky watching me for my whole, entire life.
2) Summer Rain. I remember running outside into the most amazing pouring summer rain storm, on a warm night with my parents. The three of us ran down the street, shouting, whooping and completely uninhibited.
3) Slept in a Field. I woke up in with cows walking around my head. I was amongst my fellow ‘Wayfarers’ performers after we’d slept in a field by the side of the road enroute to a performance in a spectacular cathedral in Lyons, France. The lovely contrast always sticks in my mind.
4) My Best Friend’s Wedding: The day I met my future fella. I hadn’t met him yet, but I knew who he was. The entire wedding service I never looked at him but my whole being was tuned towards where he was standing.
5) Nanna’s Socks: On the choppy return trip from a small-boat action with Sea Shepherd in Antarctica in which I’d been injured. Andy was driving the boat through choppy conditions towards the Steve Irwin, I was looking down at the socks I was wearing, the ones my Nanna knitted me, I remember thinking “We’ll definitely be OK because I’m wearing my Nanna’s socks”.
6) Almost Oscar: The twenty minutes just before the birth of our gorgeous son. My beloved Andy and I asked nurses and doctors for a moment alone before I went into the operating theatre; We held each other knowing that this was our last moment together as just us two.
OK, so I wrote six… my list actually went on and on… It was a lovely way to map the peaks of my life so far (and it did make me super happy).
What are your top five?
I’d love to see your list in a comment below if you care to share?