Why we should be thinking about our death?

This is possibly going to be a touchy subject for many people, but then not many people read this blog (yet – I am forever hopeful), so I might only upset a select few. 

Please read to the end and give me feedback as this came from a very tough and emotional day.

Here is where I am coming from. The questions I asked myself last night in my closing journal entry for the day were…

  • Do people in the over nineties group go to sleep thinking they might not wake up?
  • If I was murdered and the police had to trace my steps for the last three days, what would they uncover, and what narrative will they deduce?
  • How hardened do you need to be as a human being to kneel on a man’s neck until he dies?

I know, they are three profound, mind-numbing depressing questions to ask before I finish for the day and go to bed. But, they were coming from a very positive place in my head, although, admittedly, after a very unfavourable day. 

This is the context of where the questions came from, and I will also tell you what action it caused in me. As a clue, it was a very positive action.

The question about people over their nineties came from a Facebook story that I stumbled upon. The author asked for life stories and advice from a group of people over ninety years of age. Their insights were moving, and their energy was infectious. I stopped to think why they had such vigour and vitality for life and what is the downside of the age that they are at in their life cycle. 

I admired them so much, and I started to think deeply about what they had seen in their life. The wars, the sadness and personal losses, the family and the children they had nurtured. The spectacular events they had seen and experienced. 

My own mother is ninety-three years old and is very active and engaged in as much of life as she can and inspires me every day to do the best I can. Through the people I read about in the story and my own personal experience of the older generation, many definitely live their lives like it is their last day on this beautiful earth. 

So I wondered if that is ever in their thoughts, and hence the question I asked myself about going to sleep thinking it might be your last.

My takeaway from this is that we should live our life like it is the last day on this earth. Even if the chances of a young, healthy person, like me, dying in their sleep is ultra-slim – we should still have that thought in our head so as to keep us living and enjoying our life to the max.


So this is where my second question came from. 

If there was a very slim chance of me dying in my sleep, then what else could take my life, and how could I frame it to give me focus? 

I thought of people like Anthony Bourdain, Steve Irwin and Prince (the music guy), to name but a few. They all died in different ways.

I then thought about the chances of being murdered. 

I caught sight of the probabilities of being murdered in the West versus being murdered in China (where I live). I have to say the chances are very much in favour of the West winning that one by such a landslide margin that it does not even compare. 

I think being murdered would be horrific, and the thought of it was very upsetting… 

…then, I thought about how my murder would be investigated and what would piece together about my last days alive. I reflected back on my previous few days. I wondered what narrative the investigating police officers would tell if they saw my every waking moment for that period. 

I asked myself, would I be proud in my death by murder? What would I leave behind to tell the true story of my ‘legacy’? Or will that be forgotten in the brutality of it all? I have no answer for that, but I now have some framing to live my life in the service of others because that is what matters.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou.

This train of thought got me thinking about murder and how f*cking truly hard it would to do that to another human being. 

Pause and think about that for a moment. 

Murdering someone else – that is a lot more of a freaky thought to explore because deep down inside, you know you could never do it. Like me, you probably cry at sad movies. You wrestle with street homelessness and poverty. You most likely have given to charity because you have been moved by the challenge of some minority group. 

I am guessing you are filled with an honest and positive human spirit, and you love your fellow citizens. My thoughts jumped to the very people who are supposed to love their fellow citizens and protect and serve them with all their might. 

I got lost in this thought because I could not square that off with the horrors of what I see happening in the U.S.A. 

How another human being could treat another in such a way as they did when they murdered George Floyd. In broad daylight on the street in America while wearing a police uniform. 

Pause.

Think about that for a moment.

Power corrupts and makes people do unimaginable things.

I am so saddened even writing these words. I know now that power is such a corrupting force that we should be so careful in who we empower with that gift. We should all think very clearly about who we empower, from the Presidents down to the very people we let into our lives. 

I will now never give anyone power over me unless I see the goodness in their intentions, and it is backed up with a long history of doing good. I will also question what is holding power over me. If it is a person, then I will challenge that individual, and if it is a thought, then I will work to defeat that negative thinking.

This was a heavy journal entry, but it was also groundbreaking for me…. because it caused real action. Spontaneous and instant activity that helped me get over a hump in my life. I had been worrying about sharing some of my work with others. My Youtube videos and my writing, because I was nervous about what people would think and how they would describe me. 

I was worried about negative words in the comments box and how that would eat away at me… I know myself enough to know that it would burrow deep inside my psyche.

I worried no more. I want to live my life like it is my last day on earth. I want to leave behind some positivity if my life was tragically cut short and I had no time to prepare. What I want to leave behind is positive and inspiring to others because, deep down inside, my core value is about protecting and serving.

So, I published my Youtube video on Facebook for my world to see.

This is me, and I make no apologies.


The Art District in Beijing, China.

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