How often do you think about death?

By Cathleen Carr

We cannot pay our way out of dying.  We cannot charm our way out of dying.  We cannot beg our way out of dying.   Despite the fact that human life expectancy is ever increasing, even in less developed countries, we all eventually die. We have all been told  that the only things certain about life is death and taxes.  But the truth is we can avoid taxes; but we cannot avoid death when our time has come.

But, I wonder how often do you think about the inevitable?

How often to youthink about death?

A survey of close friends suggests that they think about dying more frequently as they grow older.  That is no surprise.  That makes sense.

One or two confessed that they have considered suicide as a way of ending the stress of financial hardships that seem increasingly inescapable. Others claimed that they hoped to die prior to becoming elderly and dependent.  Several declared their preferred ‘death by’ action versus their least desirable method of ‘death by’.

The question that I noticed they each struggled with answering most forthrightly, though, was how often do they think about their own death?

In order to live a well balanced life – the holistic ideal- it is important to think about death so that we may live more fully.  It is important to think about how our actions or inaction affects others who our lives touch.  That will be our legacy after we are dead.  That will be the story that cannot honestly be changed once we have departed this world.

When you are faced with a decision, no matter how small it might seem, no matter how unimportant to you directly it might seem, consider how you would want that decision to to be recorded in your personal ‘book of days’- that record that is left in the collective memories of those left living after you are departed.

Perhaps we would each be a better friend, sibling, coworker, neighbor, if we thought about our deaths – and our personal legacy- more often. This practice could lead to a better, more holistic life style.

Perhaps thinking about death more often is a key to living a more holistic life.

Read more articles about living a more holistic life at Dr. Cathleen v. Carr’s column at nationally syndicated Examiner .com


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