Though it is hardly a secret that none of us are exempt from death, death is not often talked about. It’s been somehow relegated as a subject that is negative and morbid, and we sweep it under the rug. Culturally we deny death as a natural part of life. We see all around us continuous efforts to stay young, to live longer, to defy nature. Not only that, because we deny death, we put ourselves in complicated situations, we accumulate resentment, anger, jealousy, we make enemies. It is as though we have forever to fix our lives.
A palliative nurse by the name of Bronnie Ware observed that there are common regrets among the dying. These are:
- I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
- I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
When it came down to it, what one values in their lives is quite basic- authenticity. No one spoke about wanting to make more money or buy more things. It was the relationship one has with himself and others that counted.
Why wait until we face death in the eye to live a simple and basic life? Why not do it now, and start to tell the people whom we care about that we love them? Why not chase after our seemingly impossible dreams and be true to ourselves? Why not work less and live more? Why not?
Keep life simple. And then, our lives will not be a denial of death but a graceful preparation for it.