death at the door
this time last year, i began writing this letter that you receive. and the lockdown then was the subject of my first letter. the same lockdown is the subject of my letter today almost a year later.
i had shared tips on enduring the lockdown through physical and mental movement of various kinds. this time the story might appear different. there’s more corona in the air and an equivalent amount of panic.
quantum of death
the panic and outrage over the deaths this year is greater than last year. what changed? the number of deaths, the number of diseased. when one person dies, we mourn. when more than one dies, we mourn even more.
can the value of life increase by numbers? these existential questions are thrown not only at philosophers but also AI programs. and i’m not sure either have the answer. especially the answer we’re looking for.
also i’m beginning to ask myself, how long do i really want to live? at 40, retirement suits me well. death might be a good look too. at what age can i die feeling satisfactory at having lived a full life?
focusing the same question on my family and friends brings a new dimension. do i believe my parents, siblings and friends have lived enough to die peaceably, without fighting for another breath?
quality of life
but of course that decision is not mine to make. but it’s a question i’m playing with. and the answer increasingly points towards quality and not quantity of life.
my life has been rich with experience of energy at the highest level and misery of the lowest pits. i wouldn’t trade it with anyone in the world today. are there things i haven’t done? a few. are there regrets i would have if i died today? no.
then again i’m a simple fella. but there’s still the question of my playmates of life. my parents are almost twice my age, so shouldn’t it be ok for them to die about now? no, i’m not plotting anyone’s end but i did hit them with this question.
‘if you were to be affected by covid, would you fight for a few more breaths of life or would you just lie down and watch the breaths fade away…?’ i’ve given them a couple of days to think about this so you can expect to know their response soon.
i might argue that they’ve lived long enough but what if it’s my child’s turn to go? who decides what a full life is? am i just counting the years, expected social milestones or is there’s something more?
live there’s no tomorrow
this isn’t the time to be making motivational speeches when thousands are dying. in fact what can be more motivating than death. i’ve lived my life on the razor’s edge. taunting death.
lady luck was always on my side and i survived. she still is. but she’s fickle so i’m not betting on her presence. but i’m not teasing death anymore. i live simply and safely.
but if i’m going to go, i want to walk towards death like jumping into the arms of a long lost friend. my attitude in life has always been playful and is obviously still so. i’ll be damned if i change my life’s philosophy at the very end.
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” Dumbledore
this letter is not to get you to be selfless and donate to a covid relief fund. instead i want you to be selfish and think about when you want to die. we’ll cover the ‘how’ in an other letter, if i’m still around 😉