Elephants In Our Rooms - Death


Our mortality is the only certainty in our lives. Yet it is the one fact that is most pushed into the background of our consciousness. When I raised this with Bob, he sort of flinched and said that it seemed particularly morbid to think about death every day.  But it is imperative that we do, and not in a morbid way at all.

The first thing we must accept and recognise is the fact that our existence is an accident of nature and that we are just so fortunate to have been given the gift of life at all. We have been given individual characteristics that make us unique, that give us the opportunity to define ourselves and enjoy the fruits of our life in the time we have been given. This level of awareness, gratitude and humility is the first step on the road to a life filled with joy and happiness.

Next we should learn to accept and embrace the fact that the time we have is miniscule in the context of humanity. Life, in fact, IS short. Think about this – 100 years after your death nobody alive will remember you. Your existence will have been insignificant in the scheme of things relevant to the next century. It is immensely difficult for people to acknowledge their insignificance; believing that it means the loss of any sense of meaning and importance. Kate told me once that if she accepted her insignificance, she would find it difficult to get out of bed every day. But that attitude belies the opportunities that we are daily given - the opportunity to make the world a better place, the opportunity to positively contribute to our immediate environment, the opportunity to spread knowledge and joy to our loved ones, friends and acquaintances. And the incredible opportunity we have to feel the happiness, inner peace and fulfilment that the majority of people never experience.

So, with this mindfulness, we are ready to embrace the subsequent truths that allow us to live in this joyous state. Some of the timeless quotations, such as those below, begin to attain significance and relevance so as to enlighten, so as to lead us into positive thinking and actions.

Happiness is a choice” – Unknown
Remember that happiness is a way of travel. Not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Life is what happens while you make other plans.” – John Lennon
“All our decisions are motivated by either fear or love. Choose love every time.” – Kate Mooney
You have one simple responsibility with the time you have on this earth, to be happy. Embrace your mortality, smile often, be mindful of the blessing that is your life, and see every moment as a grand opportunity to not only be happy yourself, but to make those around you happy too – especially those you love and who love you. The additional bonus is that you will find that you will not only look forward to getting out of bed each day, you will have much more energy to enjoy it.

Geoff Mooney