I am not afraid of death. What’s more, I think it’s ridiculous for anyone to be apprehensive about a phenomenon that is inevitable. I became even more comfortable with the idea of not existing anymore when I lost my father a few months ago. It is this acquiescence to the potential visit of the grim reaper that reminds me to not take things too seriously.
I also view death as a motivator. The knowledge that one day, people will refer to me in the past tense motivates me to do the best I can and not fuss too much about untoward circumstances. I know we avoid the subject of mortality in these parts, and that’s such an irony.
How can people who are deprived of stable electricity and potable water and are ravaged by terrorism be afraid to be rid of such an inferior existence? Ludicrous doesn’t even begin to explain this oddity.
I can fathom the idea of humans who have always had the semblance of decent living holding onto life. They have never known what it means to shout “Up NEPA!” or be without power for weeks, they are not at risk of being penniless even when they are unemployed because there’s a system in place to ensure their basic needs are met.
Life’s good for this category of people so why would they want to die. But people who are only one terminal disease away from penury shouldn’t be attempting to cling to the ropes immortality so fiercely.
Nonetheless, regardless of what end of the spectrum one belongs, they should be receptive of death as a terminal point on the journey of life.
And no, I am not referring to an acceptance that comes as due to advancement in age. When you are 70 or 80, it’s almost natural that you are at home with the concept of leaving this earthy realm. Even at that, I have heard and seen septuagenarians and octagenarians who still struggle with the knowledge that they will cease to exist someday.
Every day, we learn of the demise of people across all age spectrums. many of them hale before tragedy struck. It’s why the news of a death will always come as a shock.
How do you explain that a friend whom you chatted with the night before lost the ability to breathe in the morning or the gutwrenching feeling that comes with the suddenness of death via a freak accident?
Yet these incidents will continue to happen as long as humans exist.
Longevity is a prayer point for many. We want to live to a “ripe” old age and see as many generations after us as we can manage.
We have been oriented to view a brief life as a curse, neglecting the reality that not everyone will live to be 90.
A morbid outlook maybe, but also a rational one. Why should we be afraid of something we have zero control over? Death is certain, it’s inescapable, and such an unavoidable occurrence should not unsettle us so much.
Without a doubt, we are going to worry about our loved ones and how they will cope when we take that final bow, especially if we have young children or aged parents. And we cannot change that.
What we can do is leave a worthy legacy.
Since we are incapable of turning the tide as it relates to death, it makes sense to cushion its effect on our family and allies when we are no more.
Kobe Bryant’s shocking departure from this realm is packed with lessons. The way and manner he is being celebrated for the legacy he left behind as a basketball icon and philanthropist is something to be emulated.
We cannot stop death; not in a century, but we can impact what would be the dominant narrative when we take a final bow.
It’s one reason I’m grateful to be a writer; the knowledge that my body of work will outlive me is gratifying in ways I am unable to describe.
Beyond that, I am committed to being an all-round better human.
The fleeting nature of life is such that if we hope to be remembered for good when we have become one with the past, we must begin to do things that will ensure this happens.
When we die, we will no longer be here in the physical, but we will continue to be talked about.
Unfortunately, if our time above ground was marked by deplorable behaviours, it would be a damning narrative.
And except you are unbothered about the things that will be said about you or how your loved ones will be treated when you are gone, you need to start building your exit capital now.