Monday, September 7, 2009
I WANT TO LIVE WELL, SO THAT I CAN DIE WELL.
Recently, I have been suffering a lot of what I call "Death Anxiety". Death Anxiety to me is fear of death. This recent increase in my fear of death was brought about after I had finished reading "The Death of Ivan IIyich" by Leo Tolstoy. Please I know that not many people love reading books, I have read the bible, read parts of the Koran, read tons of inspirational books but none of those books shook me to the core as this particular book. For those really interested in the book, here is a copy of the book online (http://manybooks.net/titles/tolstoylother08death_of_ivan_ilych.html).
There were a lot of people who adviced me after I told them about this book that I should not worry about death, that I am still young that I have a lot to look forward to. I have come to the conclusion that such advice is really not that true. Death awareness helps you set your priorities straight, anybody who has dealt with anybody who had cancer can testify to the ability of cancer victims to think clearly and set their priorities straight.When death is knocking at your door, you immediately acquire a clarity of mind and you are able to discard trivial things with such ease. I do not want to wait till i catch cancer to have that clarity of mind, I want to acquire it right now so that I can be able to really understand what the important things in life are. I want to indeed live well, so that I can die well.
After reading the book, I sat down and meditated on my life, one of the themes of that book was the fact that the man in the book lived a life of regret. Sure he did the right things society expects from each one of us, he went to school, had good grades, got a good job, married a good wife, had good children but at the end of the day all that meant NOTHING!!. So last night after really thinking about this book i asked myself what is it about death in particular that most frightens me? I realised that I am frightened by two thoughts. One of which is the thought of dying without letting the good people in my life know how much they meant to me and how much I valued them. Two is I did not want to look back maybe 60 years from now when am close to dying and start regretting not having lived life the way I wanted to. So at 2am last night, I literally went on my email, and typed emails to every single person that I had ever wronged and who I had failed to apologise to and I apologised to them and let them know what they meant to me, the influence they had had on my life, and told them all the things I should have told them before our friendships went sour. I have gotten some emails back from some of them and they have all been positive feedbacks, honestly I was really proud of myself after I finished typing those emails and hitting send!. There is no better feeling that knowing that you have let someone you deeply care about know how much they mean to you. I want to live well, so that i can die well. Honestly I will recommend what I did for everybody and please i take God beg una. If you ever have time, read that book by Leo Tolstoy it will change your life. I do have a question thought for anyone who reads this post. What is it in particular that most frightens you about death?