Memento Mori. A reminder that we all will die one day.
We all know that, don’t we?!
So, why do we need a reminder for that? Because sometimes we go through life as if we are immortals; standing at the edge of danger for a perfect selfie, accumulating money in multiple currencies, carrying the emotional baggage instilled by a distant aunt more than twenty years ago.
Hence, the age-old variation of the regrets-on-the-deathbed question. As someone who’s more than a little curious about death, I have thought about this plenty. At some point in your life, I am sure you have too.
But how about the other side of the coin?
Have you ever thought about the things you won’t care about when you are in the last seconds of life?
Things that are occupying space in the brain, things that we think a lot about, things which probably are not going to cross the mind on the deathbed?
I pondered about this question over the weekend and realized that I won’t be thinking about food in the last seconds of life.
As someone who plans the daily schedule around food, marks the beginning of romantic relationships with the moment food was shared and has an ever-growing to-eat list, the realization bummed me out a little. Unless a certain percentage of people in this world are right about heaven and it has an unlimited amount of peeled grapes I can eat there while watching TV.
Speaking of TV, though I spend an embarrassing amount of time watching embarrassingly titled TV shows (Deadly Women, Scandal, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 — to name a few), I don’t think I will be thinking about my Netflix subscription on the last seconds of my life either.
If you think that the early realization above is a reminder for me that there are better things to focus in life other than being a couch potato, then you are wrong! Because I know I won’t be thinking about books as well.
Not about the piles of unread books scattered around the house, the urgent desire to reorganize my bookshelf that resurfaces with the changing of the season, and the constant nagging whenever I pick a semi-familiar book in the bookstore and wonder whether I already purchased the book and kept it in the bookshelf at my parents. Nor of my bookworm’s dream of building a bookshelf in the bathroom consisting of only waterproof books and build a house that looks like a book (– and filled with books).
I won’t even remember feeling guilty for buying overpriced books at the airport even though on the 1st of January every single year, I make a new year resolution of not doing it anymore. And If I am dying anytime soon, the slip up of buying 11 books at Changi Airport during a short layover last year, won’t even come into mind.
The airport talk reminds me that, if I am being honest, I won’t be thinking about traveling as well, something that I constantly think, plan, and obsessed about throughout my adult life (even now, while I am typing this, I have Skyscanner open in another window tab, you know just in case Victoria opens its’ border by end of the year).
Also, hello, no one knows where they will be “traveling” to the afterlife, so why bother?
The good thing is that I should not also think about flying, more specifically, my irrational fear of flying which usually creeps in a few days before I travel (assuming that my last seconds of life is not inside a plane that is crashing). Not thinking about flying also means I won’t go through my friends’ faces in my mental Rolodex of whose message I “forgot” to reply nor replaying the moment when I yelled back at my mom back in 1997 which I haven’t apologized for.
Another thing that I gladly won’t think about is: adult-ing and all the responsibility that comes with it, such as staying in a job long enough before it’s acceptable in the CV to leave, keeping some of the money earned after giving both the government and AMAZON Prime a huge chunk of it and keeping the house acceptable clean to show my parents that as a 30-something grown-up woman, I actually can survive without their supervision.
On the contrary, I am truly saddened by the thought of not thinking about my blogs. The only thing I slogged on and powered through the winter cold (with the help of my cheap electric blanket) continuously, the one I come home to after a busy day at work to “nurture”, that make me skip hanging out with friends and lost my sleeping hours for. Theses blogs are my joy and pride, but if I am being really honest, I don’t think I will be thinking about it. This realization is kind of devastating because the blogs are what I have closest to a child or at least a pet.
Wait, that’s not true!
I do have something else that is closest to a pet for me. Something that I keep at home and Instagram-ed regularly. Something that I worry about when I travel, therefore, pass to friends to take care of while I am away. Something I fed, talk to, and named. The house plants.
And I am sure I won’t be thinking about it either. They are hard to take care of and I am happily won’t use my remaining thoughts not thinking whether I have watered Carrie, Samantha, and Charlotte that week. And hopefully, by then, I already made peace with murdering the majority of them (including Miranda) by either over-watering or under-watering.
On the note of obsession, even though I am utterly obsessed with true crime and have gone so far to form friendships based on the other parties’ knowledge about the serial killers’ full names and regularly googling their mug shots using an office computer, it’s safe to say that I won’t be using the last oxygen being an armchair detective. Nor will I think about my crystals collection, Japan (unless I get to be lucky enough to live and die there one day), and many other things I am borderline obsessive about.
At first, I thought it would be hard to identify what is it that I won’t think about on my last seconds of life, but soon after I realized that almost nothing occupies my mind today, this week nor this year matters then. And that the ones I will think about are a few button taps away. So I picked up the phone and spent the rest of the weekend FaceTime-ng with them.
What about you, what are the things you won’t care about when you are in the last seconds of life?