Death is a constant worry for me. It is at the core of my anxiety – that fear of death – and I know now that I have to deal with it. I’ve thought a lot about death over the years (and I really mean A LOT), which is kind of sad, when I think about it, because the time I invest in thinking about death is actually a waste of my… What… Life? Yup.

But still – I’ve thought long and hard. I imagine that a lot of people who read this blog have shared a similar experience. Most of us have probably formulated a number of concepts and ideas about death, the meaning of life and everything (42 anybody?). I’ve wondered about what lies beyond, the why and what for of death. I’ve reached a number of conclusions that all contradict each other, prove nothing and offer no final solution.

But a short while ago something struck me. I saw death not as foe but as friend. So today I believe that death is mans greatest motivator. I know that sounds like a strange thing to say but please bear with me because, in my mind, there is no doubt about the truth of this.

He is whom we race against through life. He is a restless competitor and although some of us are able to luckily cheat death for a while he always catches up eventually. Death breaths down our necks, pushes us on, challenges us to leave something remarkable behind when the race is over.

So death motivates us to try to live better lives, longer lives, even forever. We try to attain immortality through our achievements, our family and our day-to-day actions. We hope to be remembered so we may live on. We hope our blood will be carried by future generations.

And death will give us no clue as to what lies ahead after that great race through life. So we are further motivated to make good decisions. To be good. To act the way we think God wants us to act, in case there is a God and in case there is an afterlife. Better safe than sorry, right?

Although the thought of No Thing after death is, to some extent, quite liberating. If there is No Thing then we are free to look at life from another angle. We are more free in our actions and thought. We are forced to appreciate life more. It becomes more valuable and delicate.

But if, indeed, there is a God then his gift to us is surely the ability to create. Perhaps that is the true meaning of man being created in God’s image? Just think what can be achieved if we all decided o­n something, every single person at the same time – to end all hunger, for instance. It would be done. Tomorrow it would be done. But I digress. Its Saturday. I’m tired. Where was I? Oh, yes! I was focusing o­n death (that’s so out of character for me… NOT).

Death is my personal motivator. I race against it. I need to achieve certain things before I go. I need to see certain places. I need to have more children, to make sure I will be remembered for something. I need to feel that I used life fairly and beautifully. I need to affect and inspire others. I want to make a difference.

Death has done this for me. Maybe I can begin to accept it by looking at what it has given. And acceptance is something a lot of us, people who worry constantly, are finding hard to come by. But accepting death is merely hard while denying it is impossible.

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