Having seeing death of my loved ones this year can be a wake-up call to think deeply about what we use our short time here for. They shift my perspective and help me reflect on the need to seize every day as if it was the last. (as the old adage goes) Recently, during recollection,we asked to write our own eulogy’ exercises .I was struck by the pure insignificance my death would have on the world. I imagined that I had died and what the impact of my death would be. Yes, some would miss me. Yes, some would mourn for me. Yes, some would lose something because of my non-existence.
But, really, how much of an impact would my death really have? The people that are affected at the outset would return to their lifestyles, their routines. They would find ways to continue on with their lives without me.
This experience left me with many profound realizations:
– People are extraordinary. Regardless of what life throws at them (my death for example), they would be able to pick themselves up, find a way onwards, and be happy. People are actually quite powerful when faced with change.
– If death (and life) are so insignificant what does it matter what I do? I could choose to be a complete bitchy and piss people off. I could work a corporate job and do what everyone else does. I could be a pure saint. I could stand for something. I could look bad, be embarrassed, be scared, be courageous, be confident, be powerful. None of this matters at all, because one day I will die and everyone will just move on. I actually find this insight incredibly uplifting and empowering.
I suppose on an egotistical level, I would love to think that my death would have an impact. Perhaps by my death people would be inspired to make drastic changes in their life. Perhaps they will be inspired to be more empathetic and caring for every other person. Perhaps they will be more open and transparent. Perhaps they will take responsibility for their lives and their choices.
But, I think this is a pipe dream. Nothing will happen at my death. The only thing I could ever possibly impact is those people around me, who interact with me while I’m alive, every day.