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Monday, September 7, 2009

I WANT TO LIVE WELL, SO THAT I CAN DIE WELL.

(I just realised that I never formally introduced myself to blogger town or blogsville or wetin una dey call am lol. Well here it goes, I go by controversy, I am a Political Science Major and incase you were wondering about the previous blog posts, those posts are previous posts I myself wrote for my friends at NIGERIANMAFIA.COM. Check it out if you will please. )

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?


BY CONTROVERSY

13 comments:

BellaNaija Babe said...

ok here we go!!
ok Eche i thiink u make total sense but in the midst of the chaos of life we forget whats important and whats trivial...if we cud focus on just the importance of stuff it may or may not take the fun out of the spontaneity of life....but well written!!!

WeirdGurl said...

welcome to blogsville mr eche/controversy. lol j/k. welcome though.

Bubbles said...

welcome to blogsville
I featured you on my blog.

I have a big ass fear of death

A few things
1. Use paragraphs
2. Your font color against your background color is awful. It hurts my eyes
3. You need to hyperlink your links
so people can click of them instead of copying and pasting them.

Controversy said...

@ Bellanaija Babe. Thank you, that is what am striving to do. Separate the trivia from the important.

WeirdGurl.
Nice to see you again, left a message on your facebook wall. Glad to see you back on blogsville.

Controversy said...

Hey Bubbles.
I am new to this blogging thingy. Thanks, and what font do you suggest I switch to? And how do you hyperlink your links on the blogs? This are things i still need to learn lol with time.

p.s Was just listening to Nickelback if Everyone cared and I noticed you featured it on your blog also. Your blog is awesome.

Wat particularly do you fear about death?

Bubbles said...

You could try
like red on black
or a darker shade of yellow.

Hyperlinking is simple
just highlight the text
click on the little icon that looks like the earth globe and then type in the link.

The idea of dying scares me.
I mean I wonder how I'll die
will it painful or not?
will people miss me
It's just creepy.!

Bubbles said...

oh thank you for your comment about my blog :)

Controversy said...

Ok is this the kind of red you were suggesting? What do you think?

I read something today about the misconceptions of death.
When you refer to pain, if your talking about the pain of dying then yes you will experience pain. But after your death you won't experience pain, you will no longer be conscious of whether people miss you or not.
Now i guess the question is do you believe in an afterlife? Because personally am startin 2 doubt the existence of an afterlife.

Enoch said...

Nice post.

I used to have a paralyzing fear of death. Ceasing to exist seemed like the worst thing imaginable. But when you come to think of it, its going to be no different from the time before you were born.

So for me its a question of how much I value life and how depressingly life/existing contrasts with death/not-existing. I don't recall being exceedingly glad of slipping from non-existence to being born so I'll bet the reverse won't be the case in death.

If you believe in an afterlife, No need to panic. You can mourn yourselves in your afterlife. But for realists like me that don't, there's a tendency to grieve now just because of the inability to grieve when dead. But it seems purposelessly unproductive.

Controversy said...

Enoch.

Exactly @ it's going to be no different from the time when you were born. That is so true.
Why do u not believe in an afterlife? Even as a deist i use to believe in an afterlife, but my belef in an afterlife is really starting to waiver.

Enoch said...

@controversy
Afterlife? Oboy checkam nowwwwww.

The afterlife is no different from Santa clause. Its just a feel good story. There's no evidence for its existence. I don't believe things that can not be proven true. I don't, because they could be false.

Believing in the afterlife is no different from believing that there's a space monkey dressed in Ghana kente clothing at the edge of the universe. Its very unlikely yet totally unprovable. So you can't say its definitely true or certainly false. I can go all day inventing things that we can not know for sure, why don't we believe them all? Its just too convenient and goes against my better judgment to select the pleasing stories and stamp them with a seal of approval.

Like Santa clause, the afterlife is for kids who can't handle the idea that based on the limits of contemporary knowledge, we are nothing but physical beings with no purpose beyond ourselves.

If the afterlife idea didn't exist in society, I can see why it would be necessary to invent it. Just to give meaning and a sense of higher purpose to the masses, who by the way, are more conditioned to embrace oversimplified falsehoods than complicated truths. For the added benefit of control, you can throw in a couple of ideas like punishment for the bad and reward for the good thereby wielding control through the introduction of a moral standard. Why would anyone be empathetic to anyone if there was no reason to? No guaranteed punishment in some 'afterlife'?


The afterlife is a man-made idea that can not be proven. If you believe it, you must believe my Kente space monkey. I choose not to stain my mind with the unprovable product of someone elses overactive imagination, I have my own.

Controversy said...

@ Enoch.
Exactly, i totally identify with u @ not believin things that cannot be proven true.
Lol enoch i honestly agree with all u've said. Have u heard of this author called irvin yalom? All wat u have said is what he said, we are indeed physical human beings with boundaries.
Lol but again i keep on asking myself, the people that believe this things do they ever stop to really think about what they are believing? sigh

bsb said...

Lemme not lie. The thought of death scares me:
1. The fact that I might not have achieved all the great things in life.
2. I don't think am worthy enough to meet baba up there.
3. And am definitely scared of meeting the devil.
Plus am pretty sure that evry1 is afraid of the end of the world. I don't wanna be alive then abeeeg. Don't wanna see no 7headed dragon or nothing. Shit, all this stuff is too freaky.