Why do you write about death so much? – she asked me. I gave her my best what-are-you-talking-about look and just smiled. I never realised that, but it really might appear that way to someone so different.
I don’t – I finally said – I write about Life. It’s the very fact that it has an unknown expiry date that makes it worthwhile. We all tend to ignore that, pretend as if death doesn’t exist, although it’s probably the only constant, only definite thing in our lives. So I like to point it out.
– But there are so many beautiful things to write about – She argued, her face turning red.
– Well, that’s exactly what I am writing about, girl – I said. Imagine if you had a thousand years ahead of you, or even worse, imagine if you had forever. Would you be happier? Would you enjoy all those beautiful things more? You barely notice them now, when now is all you have! That’s what I write about every time I mention death, dying or any of those “negative” terms, as you like to call them.
Just look how difficult it is for someone to say “I’m sorry” or “I love you”. Now imagine if your I’ll-do-it-tomorrow’s stretch into infinity! They would never happen, I bet my life on it.
That is why I think it’s good to be reminded that there might not be another tomorrow. Hopefully, you’ll live another 80 years, or more if you want, but you CAN’T count on that. You can’t know that. So, by writing about death, I’m writing about the importance of appreciating life, and I don’t do it to nudge you, or depress anyone – I do it so I myself don’t forget. We are humans, with all our strengths and faults. We are our best self today, and then we fall again and display our most negative aspects. We appreciate life today, and complain about something utterly insignificant tomorrow. It’s who we are. It’s the beauty of being a human being – to be able to grow through our imperfections – not by ignoring them, not by pretending they don’t exist nor indulging them and accepting them as a permanent feature. Life is given to us to realise ourselves, to grow as far and as fast as we can. It might be a single step forward, a single new idea, a small recognition; or it could be a sprint towards the finish line, it doesn’t matter.
And because we fear the unknown, we procrastinate. Because we feel thousands of little steps are required of us, we stand still and postpone the first one indefinitely. That’s why it’s good to know we have an expiry date. Even more, that’s why it’s so beautiful not to know exactly when it will happen. If we knew exactly when, we’d postpone everything until the day before, probably.
You’re laughing, but it is true.
So, because I’m human I tend to forget and because I’m an artist, I like to remind myself, and possibly others. Life can’t be lived tomorrow and things won’t change in yesterday. Say all your I-love-you’s today. Stare at the sun, start your diet, exercise, smile and be happy – today.
Start living today, for tomorrow isn’t certain.