Living and dying

“Don’t live every day as if it were your last.  Live every day as if it were your first,” Paulo Coelho once tweeted. (Yes, he got a Twitter account.)

I think what he meant by that is to see everything with a child’s eyes, having that sense of wonder and awe and not to take things for granted. I actually liked it that I retweeted it.

However, after deep reflection, I realized that I don’t want to live my life as if it were my first. It’s hard to think that way in this damn cruel world, when there are wars, it’s just really hard.  If it were my first and I’m anxious or afraid, I’d retreat and tell someone I’ll do it next time. Because I will always think that there is always a next time. I agree that we should not lose our childhood innocence because being too serious and know-it-all could only make us insane.  But I prefer to live my life as if it were my last. To live as if I’m dying.

I think about mortality a lot.  When I was younger, around 7 or 8 years old, I had imagined myself inside a coffin and I’d be very afraid.  Imagine, a child who got so many years ahead of her thinking already about her mortality.

Maybe I could blame it on my mother for bringing me with her to the funeral of a person who died in a vehicle accident. I remember me and my mother going to the coffin and since I was little, I had to stand on my toes, and there I first saw a dead person. I just remember he had this face so white and I don’t know why it was so white.

Maybe I could blame it on the movies I saw.

Last night was Halloween and I started thinking about my own impending death, again, just like the old times. Fear crawled all over my body just thinking about it.  To get it out of me, I told John Paul, my younger brother, about this fear.  He thought I was insane for worrying about my own death. So I decided to write this post, this noontime of November 1, to release it.

I always hear this:  “Say I love you to your loved ones before it’s too late”.

I’m not a fan of I love yous. Talk is cheap. And if you’re like me who is not comfortable or used to saying I love you,  there is another way of saying it.  It could be a compliment.  It could be giving encouragement to another soul. Or it could be giving even a brutal honest comment to wake that person up from his/her senses. It’s worth more than the I love yous in the world.

Last night, I saw RA Rivera’s tweet:  “Araw ng mga patay inside.”

Hilarious. Funny but true.  It’s something that I feel from time to time.  And perhaps, that’s what I should be more afraid of, to live like a zombie, when you no longer know your purpose in life.  It’s the worst feeling of all than the fear of death, I think.

There are times that I think about the loved ones and other people I know who had moved on to the after life.  There are times I would wonder how this person I am talking with would die. I would wonder how I’m gonna die.  We’re all gonna die. We just don’t know when and how we are gonna die. And when I think about the how it makes me scared, just like the old times.  But there is a flip side to this, that even though I’m scared, there is this part of me where I continue to hang on to my short life and just try to survive, no matter what happens next.  And when I need to make an important decision, I ask myself this:  “If I were dying, what’s that thing that I’d do at this moment without worrying about regrets, without worrying about the consequences and just do it? When you are not expecting anything in return and you just want to give, that’s all?”

Whenever I ask myself this question, I become more honest and true. I become bold. I do something that I had never done before resulting to amazing things happening that I didn’t expect would happen. I become not afraid of death. I start to live.  Ironic isn’t it?  It’s only when I remind myself that I am going to die someday that I try to live my life with no worries.



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