• The five letter horse on the dining room table we have to confront sooner or later •

It is the fear we must face, the fate we must accept, and the opponent we all surrender to eventually. It hurts and it breaks, but nonetheless, it happens– every day, every hour, every minute. Close to 40 people have died worldwide in the time it took you to read this introduction. Now, roughly another nine have passed. Death doesn’t stop. Sadly, lives endlessly do– especially those of people we truly care about, whom we are forced to move on without. Though painful and ruthless, the inevitable reality of dying has taught me so much about the privilege of living.

Death has emphasized that life is too short. In the blink of an eye, everything can change. Just like that someone is gone, never to appear in your sight again. You’re stripped of the privilege of hearing their gentle voice, and feeling the embrace of their comforting touch. Their presence slips away, forever. You begin to regret the amount of time you spent with them. Was it not enough? Don’t let this guilty conscience be yours. Use your seconds wisely.

Death has proven to me that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Calendars are actually silly when you begin to think about it. We mark up the months expecting to fulfill every activity penciled in. But death doesn’t care for your intended plans. Death waits for no one. Death can strike at any time, and suddenly your plans are involuntarily cancelled. Live in the moment you’re so blessed to have. There is no need to worry about booking plans that are not set in stone.

Death has showed me that pain is not always visible. After watching my grandpa take his last breath, the day continued. That night I ate dinner. The following morning I woke up. Though absolutely devastated and aching in every organ in my body, I showed minimal signs of weakness. Tears were no longer able to produce. And though I seemed together on the outside, I was broken in pieces. A smile covered the misery I was feeling, and still am. And nobody knew how much I was crumbling in my bones (and still am). Be kind to every soul, for you have no idea how much they are grieving a loss on the inside.

It is apparent we shall not let the concept of dying prevent us from living to the fullest. Death is inescapable, and life is too precious. Turn your losses into gains. Mourn those who are gone, and live to make them proud. Let death inspire you to live harder, to love more passionately, and to cherish everything. Don’t wait for death to affect your life to start to feel truly alive.

“Life is short, and it is here to be lived.”

“There’s something about death that is comforting. The thought that you could die tomorrow frees you to appreciate your life now.”

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