How to Embrace Death

How to Embrace Death



One cannot look directly at either the sun or death”. La Rochefoucauld, 1665.  Death is one of the issues that people find hard to talk about. It is something that is hard to open a conversation on; much more ask for the acceptance of it. If you are faced with the news of an illness, and are just counting your days here on earth, below are some guiding principles that might help you face death, and how to treat each day as your last and live your life to the fullest.

Accept Your Destiny.


Acceptance of death is the first step to living your life. This will be hard and the blow may be too hard to take, but denying it won’t make the pain go away, neither will it make things easier. If you are diagnosed with an illness, with only a few months to live, at least be thankful you have the remaining time to live. Thus, make it a point to be with family and friends.


Give Yourself Some Time to Be Alone.


Upon knowing about your illness, you may find yourself being uneasy having people around, which is quite normal. You need some time to be with yourself and think about how to spend the remaining days you have in the world.  Don’t force yourself to open up and talk with people about your illness if you are not comfortable with it. Anyway, psychologist Ester Schaler Buchholz, Ph.D., describes solitude as a “basic need.” However, remember that sooner or later, you need to talk about what you’re going through with someone, for support.


Don’t Feel Self-Pity.


While you may have more plans for your life and for your family, and the news about your death is just too hard to accept, self-pitying will only worsen the situation. It may seem hard, but try to look at the brighter side. Things happen for a reason; although you don’t know it yet, surely, time will come when you will actually realize why you need to leave your family behind.


Come to think of it, you’re still luckier than those people who died of accidents, because they never had the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones before they died. In addition, a study has been made by NAPA (North American Psychology Association), which concluded that self pity is a disease, not a weakness or a character flaw. Therefore, don’t add up any more to the things crowding in your head. You have more stuff to think of and do rather than acquiring another disease again.


Be Thankful.


Now is the time to thank all the people who have touched your life. From your family, friends and down to the elevator operator who always makes your day every time you go to the office. At least, before you die, you let them know how thankful you are for making your life worthwhile. This is a special privilege you get when you know you are dying.

Connect With Your Spirituality.


Questioning and being angry at your creator because of your illness is a natural feeling at first, but realize that death is just a natural process. Some people just need to leave this world earlier than the others. Now is the time to connect with your spirituality. Talk to people who recognize and support your spiritual faith. Reading spiritual books may also find you some comfort and hope.


Forgive Yourself and Others.


Forgive yourself for all the things you have done in the past and for all the things you should have done. There’s also no point in keeping vengeance. Say sorry and ask for forgiveness from the people you have hurt before. Let go of the grudges you’ve been keeping for a long time. It is high time you make amends and say how you feel towards them. It feels good to leave this world without excess baggage.


Live Your Life to the Fullest.


As what Mitch Albom says in his book, Tuesdays with Morrie, “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” Instead of locking yourself in your room, hating the world and everyone around you, try to live life normally. Live like your day on earth is not yet numbered. Take time to list down all the things you wish to accomplish, places to visit and things to do before you die.


Sad, but true, people just realize the value of things once they are lost. So before it’s too late, do all the things you’ve always wanted to do: hug your friends, host a party, and travel. In the end, you’re sure to leave this world fulfilled knowing that the last few days were spent the way you want them to be.