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A Handshake With Death

Posted by Marielle Franzes Hamoy-Arcilla on June 16, 2022

What will I do differently if I know that I am going to die today?

This is the question I have in mind every time I catch myself staring at a blank space, and sadly, I always choose to postpone my answers. But I came to think, why am I asking myself this question? Am I dying? Am I afraid of death? Or am I not happy with the way I am living my life?

Through the Mirror

through the mirror

My friends and the people of my age usually enjoy their Friday nights and vacation leaves in bars, restaurants, private getaways, and travel, but I spend mine alone in my bedroom, scrolling through various social media platforms I maintain, answering queries from my bosses or colleagues, or checking out my work emails leaving nothing unread. And to be honest, I get jealous as to how people my age are able to live that “work-life balance” state when I couldn’t even peacefully check on myself. Basically, the only time I get to converse with myself is when I am in the shower – in my most vulnerable state. I always feel like the day was too short for me to do the things I have in line to accomplish. I spend so much time during the day with information pushed into my head and leaving a little time for me to ponder over them. I have exhausted myself and glorified “doing more” when people actually feel like I am “doing less” for me. I have unconsciously used “being tired from work” or “being busy” as a badge of honor in my attempt to take the VIP exit from reality. As a result, I got used to running away from questioning myself what I really want to achieve and who I really want to be in life.

Who are you without your corporate suit on? I ask myself. And it turns out to be a tricky question to answer because a part of me knows that probably, I have lost my sense of self in my quest to put up a persona that is a stranger to who I really am.

Today, as I look through my reflection in the mirror, I choose to give myself an answer.

Living with the thought of Death

living with the thought of death

Again, posting the question:

What will I do differently if I know that I am going to die today?

The littlest of conversations about death are still taboo.

It is for most, but for me, I realized that contemplating death inspires us and makes us discern what we truly value in life.

There is this saying that if you think about death or prepare for it, you will live a longer life. I guess it was more of “people who perceive the future fearlessly are the people who make the most out of their present.” People who are not afraid of the coming of death are better at grasping the concept of “living more”.

Think about knowing when death will come. Wouldn’t you be taking a completely different path because the current one will not be an option anymore? Wouldn’t you be living each passing day knowing that you did something different than what you did yesterday? Wouldn’t you be choosing to spend more time with people who truly matter to you, not because they incentivize what you do for them, but because you just love doing things for them without asking anything in return? Wouldn’t you risk doing new things and exploring new places because you know it’s not your time yet? Wouldn’t you quit unhealthy practices because it will make time run faster? Wouldn’t you be preparing for that inevitable day and buy a property where you will feel secure and honored, not because you just take pride in owning one, but because you have pictured your family or loved ones comfortably sitting on the lawn or your estate celebrating the life you lived? Wouldn’t you choose happiness over other emotions because of every tick of the clock matters?

Isn’t it refreshing, to think you have created a compelling vision of the future up until death, for it helps you transform your definition of happiness and success?

I think this is why those people who live with the thought of death live differently. These people live their lives more than others do because they know the true value of time. Maybe, envisioning the future until death makes us assess our goals so that we may devote our time and effort to activities and decisions that will matter in the long run.

Are we climbing the correct ladder? Are we in a relationship that is going to last? Are we spending time with people who will stay? Are we doing the things that make us happy? Are we making the most of the time that is left for us? Are we investing our time, money, effort, and happiness in the right people, places, and things?

Let us visualize our future. Let us open ourselves to more possibilities no matter how painful some may seem. Doing so may allude us to live a more productive and purposeful life. Let us create a more empowering narrative for which our future selves will thank us.

And as we look back, we’ll be proud to say that we have lived more. So, to answer the question:

What will I do differently if I know that I am going to die today?

I am definitely going to embrace myself more. I’ll choose to frequently undress from the corporate suit I always have on and choose to live a little more than I did before – be more of a mom, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I’ll be more of me and less than what I can be for others.

To you, my dear, who’s reading this. What would you do differently?

READ MORE: Golden Haven Memorial Park News and Update


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