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The Dude's thoughts - Memento Mori

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There's a saying in modern Taoism:

"We live like if we never die, we die like if we never lived"

Sadly, this is a big truth about humanity in general, and it's even more true in modern times, at the least in "developed" countries. Since we have lost the daily contact with death, we have started to believe that we are immortal, while death is the only certain thing in life.

I really don't question the fact that someone cannot cope with the idea of death, but I can't accept to see people dying in total
dread ... and I'm not talking about someone who's been killed in battle or by accident or by a murder, I'm talking about old people who was supposed to have had a satisfactory, full life.. death is terrible ok, death is definitive, fine... but because of that it should be the other way around, then!

Unfortunately I had to accompany many of my relatives along their last trip, the last being my father throughout 2017 and half of 2018, when he eventually died after a long disease. My father was a doctor, a head physician in otolaryngology, a very respected man and an excellent professional, and he lived alongside death for all his life (he was specialized in surgery of the tumors of mouth and throat), still, when his time came, he wasn't ready for it.. he couldn't cope with his illness condition and the tumor badly damaged his brain even before he decided to go for exams, he simply refused the idea of "being on the end" and thus with his behavior he only accelerated his own death.. and caused a lot of troubles to his family as well .. I won't go into details, I'm not talking about his terminal condition, but about things he left behind pending and that he could have settled IF he only accepted his condition in time rather than waiting the last moment to go for surgery and then turning himself into a disabled man in one night... for the records, I don't hold a grudge with my father, on the contrary I'm shocked that a man like him, with his experience and strong will, wasn't able to deal with all that..

Another example, completely on the other side: my grandma died at 92, she was in a condition of terminal illness for like 17 years, since she got a very bad tumor at the stomach, then due to metastasis over the years she got another at the uterus and another one at the breast... so when she died, her weight was like 30 kg, she barely ate for 17 years (she lived without the stomach), but she died with a smile on her face, she died peacefully. She lived a life of troubles, hard work, war, privations, but... she died peacefully.. can you get my point here? If, as they say, how you really lived is defined by how you die, who of the two lived a better life? One could say that my father had a full life, with plenty of satisfactions, so why he refused his condition and in the end died in pain and dread? .. "we live like if we never die.." that's really the point, that's MY point here

If you don't keep in mind that life will end, you'll never be satisfied.. no matter how much you obtained, you'll ever want more ... and when the end will come, you won't be prepared for it.. life is just a long (hopefully) preparation to that last moment, no matter how you see it, if you are a believer or not, if you hope in reincarnation or have faith in Karma, or if you simply believe in nothing, it doesn't matter.. life will end, and you'd better be prepared for that...

So, remember that you have to die, memento mori.

Updated March 09, 2020 at 10:02 AM by Flinn

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  1. makanyane's Avatar
    Great post! I have some issues around this topic... For instance when it's said that someone's life has been 'saved' (by medical procedure or other rescue) - I think, no it hasn't, it has just been prolonged, everyone still dies in the end!
  2. Flinn's Avatar
    hello mak, thanks for reading and commenting! Unfortunately not a lot of people are open to talk about death.. and I don't blame them, since the natural instinct makes us stay away from death as much as we can.. and certainly death is a bad thing .. the whole point is that we should not be influenced by it, and the only way to do that is to accept it...

    A lot of people ask me how to be happy in life.. well the first thing to do is certainly accepting death and cope with it..

    however, music helps me a lot in general, only recently I started to listen to Tool

    last sentence:

    This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality
    Embrace this moment, remember, we are eternal
    All this pain is an illusion.
  3. Lusitanio's Avatar
    Impressive, one of the best texts I have read, at least this year x)

    Well done Flinn!
  4. Flinn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio
    Impressive, one of the best texts I have read, at least this year x)

    Well done Flinn!
    tnx Lusitano

    I'm glad you liked the post.. I know that death isn't a popular argument...