In my own experience, this has been true, a couple of times:
“Acknowledging our mortality can renew our appreciation of the gift of life. Much of the time in our daily lives we move quite like zombies, on automatic pilot, working mindlessly through our conditioned habits and rote rituals, zoomed in on our mundane troubles and petty, immediate grievances and inconveniences while taking most of what we have—the gifts being alive confers upon us—for granted. In the presence of death, we are called back to our senses, quite literally.”
The first time was in my 20s. I had been struggling with suicidal thoughts, and while I don’t remember where, or who, I had this conversation with, someone told me to just “hang around and see what happens, eventually you’ll get there anyway.”
That, for whatever reason, worked for me. I don’t claim that it would work for everyone, but it did challenge me to look at my life, and my struggles, differently. Instead of wanting it to end, I recognized that, at some point, it was going to end, without me having to do anything, so why not live it out and see what happens?
The second, and third, time was after the death of a parent. Those events again created the reminder that we are all going to die eventually, and in many ways a reminder that most of the things we spend every day worried about, don’t matter a whole lot.
After all, when it does happen, how many people are going to remember those extra hours we put in at work? Or the time we took a chance that didn’t work out? No, they’ll remember the things they shared with us. The memories we made together.
What kind of memories are you making today?