The truth, is that most of us do not think about death. We believe that death is in the far future, so we don’t worry about it. It’s an enigma that no one wants to talk about.
Even the elderly, do not want to talk about it. It’s scary because no one really knows what lies after death. We would like to believe that there is an afterlife, but the reality is that we have no clue.
All of these reasons are valid reasons to confront the validity of death. Of course, there are many more, but these three are the most common ones.
What is mid-life? Mid-life is a period in our lives in which we realize that time is running out, that we only have a certain amount of years left in our lives, and that we must do whatever we can in our lives to enjoy life and to prepare our legacy.
This period in our lives is usually marked by crazy behaviors. For example, sky diving, buying a really expensive sports car or getting a young girl. But it can be a very productive period spiritually and financially.
Another event that can change our perspective on life is to become severely ill. Illnesses happen unexpectedly, and can be a real wake up call for many. Most people do not even know that they are sick until they start having some type of symptoms.
The most common question patients want answered, when they are sick, is how severe is their illness. The degree of change that occurs in these types of patients is relative to the severity of the illness.
For example, an illness can be a very grave illness, like a heart attack. Heart attack requires huge lifestyle changes. On the contrary, a simple back pain can be just a reminder that you might have something wrong with your back, but it doesn’t have the urgency to change your life style like a heart attack does.
The third issue related to death is seeing a loved one die. This is could be one of the most life changing experiences anyone can have. It can be very painful and it is definitely life changing. Some people take this experience negatively and others take it as a way to analyze their own life and make positive changes.
Regardless of which of these three events affect your life, they will change your perspective on death, particularly the second and third. Having worked for so many years in a hospital, I talked to many people who are gravely ill, are plain ill, or have lost someone they loved very much.
If you ever get a chance to speak to someone who is gravely ill, and they know that they are going to die, most of them will tell you that they are ready to go. Regardless of their acceptance, they are all willing to give their advice to the young. If you were to ask anyone of them what advice they would give a young person, the will say:
Don’t become an old regretful person. Life is beautiful. Do what you love, life is one.
This is often the recurring message that I heard from the very severely ill.
So why am I talking about death? Because you do not need to be reminded of death to understand that time is limited on this earth, and that you should do what you love to do, if you are to truly live.
You want to be a poet? Do it!! You want to be a writer? Do it! You want to be a Mathematician? Do it!!! And the guy who just went through the mid-life crisis and the person who just lost a loved one will tell you the same thing: Life is beautiful. Don’t waste it. Do what you love! Don’t be an old regretful person.
** A very special thanks to Miguel A. Bustillos for writing this very interesting and insightful article on a topic that many of us ponder; on a day-to-day basis.**