I went to a comedy show at the Boston Garden last night. The performing comedian is beloved in the Italian-American community.
He had a bit about Italian grandparents picking out their grave-sites, caskets, and burial suits before death, and how they show them off to any and everyone.
It was familiar to me.
Also familiar was the physical reaction I had to the bit.
I froze, stopped breathing, then shuddered, all within a window of 10-seconds.
It was unnoticeable to anyone around me. It always is.
See, I’m terrified of death. I don’t have a good relationship with it. I panic at the thought of it. To me, it truly marks the endpoint of existence.
It sucks to carry around.
Last night’s reaction is appropriate for the essay I’ve been working on.
For the past few weeks, I’ve looked to ancient cultures to learn how they revered death, practiced meditations that bring awareness to death, and read books about figures of recent generations who passed early, hoping to learn, something.
Unanimous across each piece was the idea that death can be a springboard to living life well.
With myself as the subject, I invite you to travel through time and spend your Sunday thinking about death with me.