One day I’ll die, and I think about that a lot.
It’s less “oh I want to die” and more “hmm I’m going to die”.
When I think of what happens after death, I hit a void. It’s like a mental black hole where there are no answers — no before, no after.
These days, I think of it as a surprise.
Sometimes I imagine the tweets that’ll be shared about me when I die: the stories of “the life I was on track to have” if I die “early”, and (maybe) the tribute to “the life I had” if I live long enough. Everything I’ve spent my life on would immediately mean a lot more to people whose worlds intersected with mine. It’s heartwarming and funny at the same time.
I don’t know if I care much when or how I die. Unless I take my own life, I have no say in the matter. I do hope that it’s not painful though; and if it is, I hope death frees me from the pain.
While trying to write this, I spent some time on the internet reading other people’s notes on death. There’s so much advice—mostly legal or religious—on how to prepare for death. So stressful.
But there’s other interesting stuff, like the essays of dead philosophers. I stumbled on Michel de Montaigne, a philosopher who lived during the French Rennaisance (1533–1592) and wrote about death as something to constantly think about. (Talk about confirmation bias, right!)
For example, here’s a popular quote of his:
To begin depriving death of its greatest advantage over us, let us adopt a way contrary to that common one; let us deprive death of its strangeness, let us frequent it, let us get used to it; let us have nothing more in mind than death…We do not know where death awaits us: so let us wait for it everywhere.
It’s common knowledge that èèyán lè kú any focking time. But it takes a lot of conscious effort to actually live like you’re going to die.
Life is like a crowded club.
You don’t walk into this club; you get in somehow.
Some people end up in VIP; some on the dance floor; some on stage; some in the restroom. No one gets to choose where they end up, but wherever you are in the club, there’s usually some music to dance to.
Death is like leaving the club.
Some don’t like the club—too crowded, too hot—so they walk out on their own terms. Others—most people, get bounced.
Whichever way you go, everyone must leave the club.
Some people have danced enough, so they’re happy to leave anyway. Some are cheered on as they leave. Some laugh at the bouncers as they walk out. Some are gently shoved out. Some are dragged out wailing.
In your corner of the club, you watch the bouncers work. They huff and puff in their all-black clothes, escorting people out. Some are nice and will give you more time if you ask right; others are mean and don’t care to listen.
There are no windows and no one has any idea what happens when you get kicked out. There are whispers in certain circles, but no one really knows. The only thing we know for sure is that, eventually, a bouncer will come for every one of us.
I want to leave the club sweating.
If I die soon, I only have one request: move everything on my iCloud to a public website — ope wuz ere dot com.
And if I’ve still not completed my website by then, I hope someone is kind enough to finish it for me.
Okay… two requests.