I read an article this morning on elephantjournal.com entitled “Die and Live?” that spoke of life and death, plans for the author’s (Roger Wolsey) funeral, living in the present moment, and it ended with a list of Roger’s things he will miss about life when he dies. I’ve often contemplated my own death – ever since I can remember I’ve been intrigued by death and more specifically, the cessation of life. It’s not that I have a death wish – though that’s not to say that I never did, but that’s a different blog post – but it’s more a fascination with the mechanisms that we label as life (basic individual cellular metabolism- ATP, glucose-6-phosphate, ion channels, etc.; and then cell-cell signaling to make it work on a systemic scale)..and subsequently the cessation of those mechanisms which we label as death, followed by the decomposition of the physical organic matter we call our body. In addition to contemplating the physical aspect of death, I often ‘plan’ my funeral services – wishes I’d currently like to be fulfilled (and of course, these change over time as my views on life change).
But I digress.. back to the article in question. The point of it all is to identify those things in life which truly matter to you, what your priorities are, and how to appreciate the present moment – because truth be told, it’s all we have. I love making lists, but I realized as often as I contemplate death and my dying, I never made a list of things which I’ll miss about life. I found this to be a great exercise in gratitude, appreciation, and in the psychology of myself. Roger decided to make this list as part of his Lenten ritual..and while I don’t partake of Lent, I think a once-a-year reevaluation of self and that which you appreciate is not a bad thing. Just as we turn a new leaf at New Year’s, reflecting on the past.. perhaps we can reflect on our future inevitability to appreciate the present. So here is my first, and hopefully annual list, of things I will miss about life. I recommend you give it a try yourself.
Things I Will Miss About Life (2011)
*The smell of toast, and fresh baked bread.
*Making a cup of tea.
*The stillness at the moment just following the cessation of the OM before the next inhale is taken.