Can you really ever prepare yourself for your own death? Honestly, I don’t know. I think you can prepare things so that when you do die it’s easier for your loved ones. I shared a story about my Dad paying for his casket, funeral and showing me where all his important documents were. But does that mean he was ready for his death? I can’t ask him that question and part of me wishes I could go back in time and ask him.
I believe it’s important to at least be comfortable thinking about your own death. Our society has stigmatized death so that it’s only talked about at funerals and wakes. We (society) have let the movie/tv death portray peacefully just going to sleep when in reality that’s the furthest from what actually happens. Preserving the dignity of the dead is important but I think we, and parents, have a responsibility to talk to children about the realities of death (age-appropriate, of course). That means telling them that not everyone just goes to sleep when they die. No one should fear death((Maybe fear isn’t the right word here..Obsessively fear, maybe?)), it is a natural part of the life cycle for all living beings. This leads me into wanting to talk about the afterlife but I’m not ready to open that can of worms so more on that in another post.
The main point and the reason for this post is that death should be discussed. It shouldn’t be left up to tv and movies to set the expectation of how people are going to die. I wasn’t prepared for the death of a family member and seeing them in the state they were in before they died affected me for many, many years. So talk about death and dying with someone and more importantly talk about it with yourself. Spend time thinking and meditating on it. From my own experience, it can be very empowering to become comfortable with it. It pushes me every day because this could be my last day.
“si vis vitam experiri, para ad mortem” – If you want to experience life, prepare for death.
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