Life is temporary. It has expiry. Each breath, each heartbeat, brings us closer to inevitable end. The naked truth is, we’re all dying from the moment we were born.
Philosopher Betrand Russell, when he was in his 90s, lamented the ways in which most people waste their lives, as if they’ll live forever.
In my work as a psychotherapist, death is a constant enemy. Whether young or old, I deal with death issues every session.
Like life, my sessions are timed to the limit. There is expiration hour. So often, I listen to people utterly “dying” – depressing, denying, making excuses, wasting precious time, hiding.
As I watch the minutes tick by, I wonder about life-and-death issues. Will they do or get or not what they want most in life?
Whatever the age, becoming aware of impending death as soon as possible is very helpful. It avoids wasting time on things that don’t really matter.
Of course, this is especially true among older people. With the limited time left on earth. The proximity of death. How randomly any of them could vanish into earth!
We can ask ourselves directly a few questions to help us process this reality more deeply.
• Although I may struggle, what will make my days worth living to the fullest?
• How could the quality of my life be improved?
• What do I consider the most important to achieve given the limited time I have left?
• What may be my greatest regrets if I die before I get the chance to complete what’s truly important to me?
A little carving along the road says, “In the midst of life, we are in death.”
That puts things in perspective about what really matters in this life … while we still have the time and can ask ourselves questions.