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Rose: I’m not in shock, dear. I know that Jonathan’s gone. I do miss him. I can’t even say his name without dying a little. But, to be honest, I haven’t cried because I’ve had no reason to. I have every reason to be sad, but I don’t have any reason to mourn. People grieve when things end. Nothing has ended tonight. One of us has simply gone ahead as we always knew it would have to be. But there is not place Jonathan can go…
Shelley: where you can’t follow.
Rose: Yes, in time.
-Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
And DEATH is possibly the most important thing. We are all walking towards death, but we never know when death will touch us and it is our duty, therefore, to look around us, to be grateful for each minute. But we should also be grateful to death, because it makes us think about the importance of each division we take, or fail to take; it makes us stop doing anything that keeps us stuck in the category of the ‘living dead’ and, instead, urges us to risk everything, to bet everything on those things we always dreamed of doing, because whether we like it or not, the angel of death is waiting for us.
“Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we are no longer here.”
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and hadn’t suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”
– Cherokee Expression
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
“Somebody ought to tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit every minute of every day. Do it, I say, whatever you want to do, do it now.”
— Michael Landon
“Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.”
— Alan Sachs
“I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
“I am convinced that it is not the fear of death, of our lives ending, that haunts our sleep so much as the fear that as far as the world is concerned, we might as well never have lived.”
– Harold Kushner
“The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.”
-W. M. Lewis
“Don’t die without embracing the daring adventure your life is meant to be.”
— Steve Pavlina