6575 days left – contemplating mortality

It’s been 34 days since I started counting down to my EDD (estimated day i die). My blogs on the subject contemplating mortality have drawn two very different sets of responses.

The first group resonated with the perspective and talked about seizing the day. The second group thought I was downright morbid and depressing and probably a little bit crazy. (Depending on your view, you are either going to find this post even more inspiring or even more morbid. You have been warned).

Both views (and whatever shade in between) are not wrong. Mortality is always a sensitive topic and it’s all down to individual preference whether you want to stare death in the eye or ignore it until you have to confront it. Whichever your preference, death is going to be hanging around in the room, breathing in the same air we inhale. Since it is there, I proposed to myself that I should just learn to get comfortable with it and ask it to take a front row seat with me for the next 18 years as I try my darn best to live a good life.

When I was young, even up to my early 30s, death was a concept that would grip my heart in fear. I imagined what it would be like to die – would i really go to heaven/hell/purgatory or would it just be simply “lights out”. The “lights out” idea really bothered me a lot.

Then, I got busy with too many kids and I stopped thinking about it.

On my 42nd birthday (yes that’s how old I am) on Easter Sunday (today!), I decided to take stock of how many days have slipped past my fingers unconsciously since I started counting down at 6608 and if I have made a good account of the days that have passed since I resolved to do more, live more and love more. The number was 34. Which was a far smaller number than I had thought.

Perhaps with the countdown ticking away in my head, I’ve been living the past month or so in a bit of a zealous pace trying to pack in experiences, people and what not on top of an over the top work load and a really busy household. I helped with a retreat for 100+ 15 year olds bobbing along with them at Praise and Worship, attended a retreat for myself for the first time in (17+) years where I sang songs I sang in kindergarten (don’t ask!) and was born again in faith, met some amazing new people, booked a dive trip (it’s coming up), gotten tattooed twice over (no regrets!), volunteered to do more in church, prayed more, fasted more, and spent more time with my friends and family in deeper conversations punctuated with a lot more laughter and joy and always trusting magic in the process.

So instead of plunging me into despair, my count down seems to have fired me up. My eyes are on the clock, but instead of fear, I am seeing hope and already eagerly awaiting for the next spontaneous opportunity for a crazy day to present itself. I hope you won’t just be bystanders, do jump into the adventure with me too. Death can wait.

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