Lately, morbid thoughts about my own demise have occupied my mind. I’ll be honest and say it felt incredibly strange and uncomfortable at first, but as time went on, I saw a shift in my perspective, my values, and a desire to find meaning.
That’s what this post is about. I won’t try to be articulate here; I am just going to write…
Before you label me a nutcase or say “my number 6 is not correct“ (which is a Nigerian way of saying someone has gone mad), let me fill you in a little: I recently watched my beloved mother as she took her last breath whilst reclined on my chest. I still get flashbacks ever-so-often. Also, in the last month, I travelled miles to visit the grave of a dear friend whom I lost during the COVID lock-down - to say a final goodbye. I lost my Dad when I was just 14. So maybe something happened to my number 6 due to all these events - and I can’t help but ask myself certain questions about when it’s my turn to die. When I lay six feet below in the tranquillity of the grave-yard:
- If I were to die tonight, would I be doing what I am just about to do?
- If I were to write my own eulogy (just like I wrote my Mum’s ), what would I like to put in there?
- Who will miss me when I die?
- What will I be missed for?
- Should I even effing care who misses me or what for? After all, I’d be gone, right?
- Do dead people miss their loved ones? I doubt it. But if I could, who would I miss the most and why?
- Am I scared of dying?
- I know that Kubernetes, Observability, MBA, the house, the cars, the stocks will bear no meaning, but how about love, will that fade too?
There are things that I will never know by living, only in dying - so my curious mind can’t help but learn to embrace and accept this inevitable appointment with death that we all must keep.
Furthermore, these are some of the ways in which these issues are shaping me:
- I say NO with much more ease than before. Honestly, if it doesn’t add value, I am not wasting my precious time on it - no matter who’s involved.
- I eschew individuals, social media, movies, and other media that peddle and nurture vanity.
- Find meaning in my vocational work. Create a lasting impact in my work. If it’s just for the paycheck, then it’s not worth it. Leave - find a new cheese station.
- I feel a lot stress-free - almost like a bird that has just been released from captivity. Free from unnecessary worries, what they/he/she think or don’t think of me. It doesn’t matter.
- Gratitude - for the seemingly small things in life.
- Be nice - even to strangers. Everyone is dealing with one challenge or the other, and we all want the same thing for ourselves and our families. Just don’t be an ass-hole, Israel.
Now, I have to try and finish that eulogy soon. It’s a lot of crap at the moment.
This whole thing is vanity. Vanity upon vanity.
When you die, will I miss you?