Meditating on Death

It is necessary to meditate early, and often, on the art of dying to succeed later in doing it properly just once.

Umberto Eco

Imagine spending dedicated time actually meditating–both early and often–on the act of dying? That notion, on its face, seems like an exercise in fear and pessimism. Why would anyone take moments out of their lives to think about death?

But it has been said that one’s awareness of death is the motivator to live one’s life more fully.

I’m guessing that you’ve entertained the hypothetical thought-game of “If I had only had six months to live, I would _____.”

Somehow, we’re able to hold that idea and then expound on all the things that we might do with our remaining time. Often, we add conditions to the thought-game such as “presuming I’m healthy until the bitter end” or “if money isn’t a barrier.”

If you are able to entertain all that you might do with only six months left, you, too, can meditate on death, independent of time frames and conditions. And this practice can be worthwhile because it shines a bright light on all that you may wish for in your life and what is truly meaningful.

I invite you to try this: Set an alarm on your phone to ring once a day. When it rings, imagine yourself as no longer a living person on this earth. This may be odd to do, but I promise that the meditation on death grows easier day by day, and your daily experience of meaningfulness will grow stronger as well.

If you or a loved one is nearing the end of life, please reach out to Death Doula Jenna Brownson at 978.760.0482 to find ways to honor a life and prepare for death.

Published by Jenna Brownson

Early morning writer, mother to four, wife to one, recovering lawyer, End-of-Life Doula.

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