I had my team do a eulogy as an activity to get to know each other better and also get to know oneself better. And my entry referred to my fascination with morbid things in general. One of my colleagues asked me – what is the reason you are so fascinated by Death?
I thought about it for a while. I guess I picked Death as a favourite topic in my early twenties. It all started with an article about Bhutan stating that it is one of the happiest countries. The reason for their happiness was they thought of Death a lot. And if you are aware that you can die at any moment, you get a different perspective on life – you don’t have regrets, and you forgive easily. You are a much more easygoing person. And around that time, I was exploring myself and how I wanted to live my life. So, this sounded like a good rule to live by – live as if you were going to die tomorrow. And since then, I have done regular check-ins with myself by asking – What if I die tomorrow or the next moment?
Similarly, awareness of our fleeting lives also helps me keep my relationship with others in perspective. Our dog – Aki, is going through a phase where he has low platelet counts, and they don’t know why. He is going through a series of antibiotics, which seem to be working, but we don’t know for sure. And I ask myself the same question – If Aki was to die, would I change anything? The answer to that question helps me think about how I am with Aki. I can ensure that I live Aki to the fullest without any regrets. And this holds for other relationships too! Life is too short of having regrets.
I am a rebel at heart, so talking about Death feeds into my rebellious nature. The topic of dying makes many people uncomfortable, including my parents. So, I do admit that sometimes I bring up morbid topics because of the shock value. Or to see why other people find it so uncomfortable when I think about dying regularly. I want to clarify that thinking about Death doesn’t give me a perverse thrill. Neither do I mope around because we will all die, so what’s the point? For me discussing Death is no different than talking about exercise, food, sleep etc.
The ultimate reason is that morbid musings help me live my vision – Be a better version of myself every day and inspire others to do the same. Just like meditation, exercising helps me keep my life in perspective. In today’s world, where it is so easy to get drawn into mind-made stories, we lose perspective of what matters the most. Sometimes people live their entire lives missing the point of life – being one with consciousness or being the witness and observer. Grim Reaper helps me stay on course to my true north.
What is your relationship with Death, and can it help you be a better version of yourself?