Keep Death Close

For the first human beings, survival was constantly on our minds. As we interacted we formed tribes to become better at survival. As our technologies improved our tribes got bigger. Today, daily survival is no longer something we have on ours minds. Food is abundant, water is clean and healthcare is free. What’s happened is we have pushed death further away from us. In that process we have mistaken this ‘pushing away’ as the elimination of death. Our communities are no longer as tight as they were in our days of survival because death is not next to us. It is not shouting out to our friends and family to join it, it’s only whispering it and we can ignore a whisper right?

We have forgotten, or at least tried to forget, that death exists. If the topic of death comes up, we abruptly change the topic. Our news and media show death to us every single day and we become desensitise to it. We think that by ignoring death, our lives will be better, by thinking we can live life without confronting death we make a huge mistake.

Why is ignoring death bad? It isn’t, unless you want to live a life of regrets. Death makes life worth living. It bonds us together, because we all share it. When a loved one dies, it brings us all together. If we ignore it, we live life without passion, because “there’s no death behind me waiting to take this all away – I’ve ignored it!” Ultimately, without death, there is no life.

Have you ever been scared of doing something, but ended up doing it anyway, and then feeling awesome afterwards? I’d bet it’s probably the same with death. It’s scary as fuck, but if I can begin to say hi to it and understand it without the irrational mind entering, the fear dissipates.

“Die before you die. There is no chance after.” – C.S. Lewis

Obviously you can’t kill yourself to confront it because then you’re dead dead. But you can imagine what it would be like to die. You can play with your own imagined death and ultimately come to a realisation about it. You can pretend you don’t fear death and then see what difference that makes in your life. The more we do what we fear, the less fearful we are of it. So die, die lots of times. Every time you go to sleep, pretend you die. Then when you wake up in the morning live life like you’ll die at the end of the day. One day you’ll be dead dead, but that’s OK, you’ve died many times already.

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