We go through life as though we will live forever, as though we are invincible. But the only thing that is certain about life is death. This is the truth for all people, no matter who they are and where they live.
And yet in our living, we rarely think about our own vulnerabilities or the fact that our last day, last moment, last breath may already be here.
We seldom take the time to appreciate the sunrise and acknowledge the joy of seeing another day. We do not think that this present moment that you are spending with your loved one, could in fact be the last one – here on this earth, and maybe forever.
We are often so caught up in our own lives, in our own problems and challenges, in our own belief systems and thought processes, in our own righteousness. We live our lives believing in our indestructability – or not even thinking about it at all. We rarely think of life as a gift – a blessing – and an opportunity to actually try and get out of the wheel of the samsara.
For those of us who have actually thought about death – I am sure that we would like to hope that when the time comes for us to pass, it will happen at a far off day, in a warm bed and surrounded by loved ones. We would like to believe that we are ready to go, that we have finished all our unfinished businesses. That we have lived a happy and satisfying life and we are ready for the ‘great move on’.
However, death can catch up with us at the most unexpected of times and places. It is not always the old who are the first to go. Accidents, natural calamities, health calamities such as heart attacks and strokes, boulders falling on people etc – are common occurrences and they do not differentiate between the young and the old. ‘Time and tide wait for no man’, so said Shakespeare – and many times it is also the young people who have to make the early exit.
And when it is time to go, you are alone. You cannot take the possessions you have accumulated over your lifespan. And despite the number of friends you may have made or the large extended family that you may have, when the time comes to walk across the realms – you have the make this journey by yourself.
And that is why I feel it is so important for everyone to occasionally reflect on life and on death. To try not take life for granted but rather to take stock of how you are living and to try and life in a way that you will have no regrets.
And for that you don’t need to make the dramatic changes – just try and live one day at a time - be the best person that you can be - be good, be kind, be compassionate - so that every evening when you go to bed and you reflect on your day, you are satisfied with the way you have lived the day.
Cumulatively, these individual days will become a life well lived.