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June 1, 2015

There are no big decisions with death hanging over your shoulder

death hourglass

Two weeks ago my friend Michael’s brother passed away. He was younger than us.

As one does after the death of a friend or loved one, I thought about my own demise. Or, maybe it’s just me that’s being macabre.

I realised that I’m living an illusion. I act as if I am going to live forever. And I misguidedly think that this gives me licence to mess about and surround myself with inconsequence and minutia.

Perhaps it would be useful to unpack death a little bit before I build an argument for living with intention and not meandering around like a brainless Amoeba.

“I know, I know”, we don’t like talking about our own mortality.

But, let’s play a bit and give death a form.

Imagine that death is an entity that walks just out of your vision, behind your left shoulder. It’s ok, you can look over your shoulder and if you look really carefully (squint your eyes), you may just see him. He is a faithful companion and is always with you … every second of your existence.

One day he’ll come forward and tap you on your shoulder and whisper gently into your ear, “It’s time.”

It can be now, tomorrow or at a later date. You and I don’t know when the tap will come.

And, when you are called, reflect on the moment just before the tap. Were you doing your best work? Were you awesome? Were you living your passion? Were you grateful? Were you the best version of yourself? Was that a moment of intent and purpose?

Because we don’t know when we’ll be tapped, every moment should be lived with intent, purpose and awe.

That’s why there are no big or small decisions. There are just decisions. And, every decision is important. We should make the decision to live awake and with intent, and we should strive to make every moment, including our last, a masterpiece.

Because we never know, when we’ll be tapped on the shoulder as he gently whispers, “It’s time?”

End Note

I found it ironic that halfway through writing this article there was a commotion at our gate. We found the lifeless form of our beloved Bella, our cat of four years at our gate. She’d been hit by a car. Simone had fed her and picked her up five minutes before the incident. You never know when the tap will come.

2 Comments on “There are no big decisions with death hanging over your shoulder

Michelle
June 1, 2015 at 5:40 pm

On both counts-I’m sorry for your loss.
It’s true it is a subject most people avoid. Death is inevitable and I think people try avoid considering it, never mind discussing it. However, when it’s your time to go, there should be no regrets. I was 24 when my dad passed away. I firmly believe in living every day to the fullest. Do or try things at least once so that you don’t have regrets and never pass up time to be spent with people who matter. Life is too short to waste on those who don’t. And don’t take it too seriously… we don’t get out alive anyway!

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Jacques de Villiers
June 3, 2015 at 9:29 am

Hey Michelle, I like the way you think. Making every moment magnificent should be our goal.

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