Trigger Warning: This post talks about suicidal ideation
I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately. Not just because of the pandemic. Perhaps it is because I’ve reached the age at which one just becomes more aware of one’s mortality?
Statistically speaking, I will probably outlive my partner by about 11 years. That is too long a time to be alone. I may have to end my life soon after my partner passes away.
In actual fact, I often feel like there would be no difference whether I live to be a hundred or if I die today.
I mean this in practical terms.
Maybe loved ones would be sad if I die at a relatively young age. But it would absolutely be an insignificant event in the bigger scheme of things.
In the bigger scheme of things, we should not be sad when someone dies. How weak and emotional humans are!
I mourn the passing of a beloved pet. I feel pain, I cry, I feel guilt, longer than I think I should.
But for what? The ones that pass on do not feel anything anymore. I envy them. I do not envy the ones left behind to grieve.
There is a big difference between thinking about ending your life and actually being suicidal. I don’t think I am suicidal.
But I sometimes think that the only reason I keep on living is to not cause grief among the people I leave behind.
It’s sort of a passive decision to stay alive. And like I said, I will probably die on my own terms when the time comes.
Arthur Schopenhauer said, “Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom.”
Isn’t this the truth? Isn’t the world full of pain and strife? Isn’t it every person’s aim to overcome every day struggles?
An optimist would say that our aim is to achieve happiness. But achieving happiness and overcoming hardships are just two sides of the same coin.
And then in between these moments of pain, we try to battle boredom by engaging in activities and experiences that we enjoy.
Haven’t we all found something to obsess about during the coronavirus lockdowns, just to keep us sane? I personally have turned to crocheting and baking, and others I know have become gardeners, painters, musicians, etc.
People who read this may see this as a red flag and worry about my mental health. My mental health is probably not at 100%, but then again, who is 100% sane all the time? I muse about death all the time. One of my favourite TV/movie/book genres is crime/murder/serial killers.
For me, death is not the end of life. It is a part of life.
Schopenhauer may be a pessimist but he did live to be 74 and died peacefully of illness at home on his couch. That’s as happy a death as anyone could wish for!