I am not being morbid, nor am I a pessimist by any means, but this is the truth that I have found. Death is the only thing that is reliable to you. I have recently realized in my own life that nothing is permanent. Nothing is guaranteed. As people, we get into this thought process where we start listing the aspects of our lives that are stable and begin leaning upon that reliability. We throw death off into the distant parts of our minds because we cannot pinpoint it, it seems like just another uncertain part of life, but in fact it is the only thing that is guaranteed. It seems like an unnecessary thought. Why dwell upon death while you are alive? Understanding the real and present power of death is the key to understanding the preciousness of life. Anything and everything that you have, can be taken from you at any moment. The truth is that if we lived with this in mind, we would do things differently.

Have you ever lost someone close to you? If you have, you know death is the single most confusing and infuriating aspect of life. It isn’t fair. It plays no favorites. It gives no explanation. It takes everything. The only thing it gives you is the guarantee that one day, you, and everyone you ever come in contact with in your entire life, will die. So what then do you know? You don’t know what job you will have. You don’t know what friends will stay at your side. You don’t know if your spouse will be there, or your children. You don’t know what the world will be, or how it will treat you. You don’t know what you’ll be faced with. You don’t know anything, except that you will eventually die, and so will everyone else. So then I ask you, knowing that one single fact, are you living?

If you stopped looking for stability in your life and stopped fearing the future, what would you do? Would you stay in the job that you hate? Would you stay with the person who mistreats you? Would you stay in the town that you feel trapped by? The answer is no, you wouldn’t. You would throw all needs for stability to the wind because, to be honest, nothing you think is lasting really  is guaranteed to be so. We plan out the details of our weddings and careers in our minds as though those plans mean anything at all. We plan out the lives we want for our children. We plan out the lives we want for ourselves. We do these things with this mistaken thought that we have ANY say at all. We have nothing, except a chance to live.

My next question is if you stopped feeling like you have all of the days in the world, how would you treat others? If you stopped feeling like the people in your life were permanent, how would you change? What would you say to your best friend or parent or lover if you knew that they would be gone tomorrow? Because they could be. They could be and there is nothing at all that you can do about that, because death is set in stone. The thing that isn’t set in stone,  is the way you decide to make choices. It is the way you decide to look at people, and talk to them in the moments that you have them. If you have lost someone, you know that your heart yearns deeply to tell them the most simple of things. You want to just say that you love them, that you appreciate them, and that they were so special and perfect to you. But it will always be too late if you wait until that moment to realize death is the only certain thing in life. For so many times in life, we are just too late. Too late to tell that person we love that we are sorry and that they deserve appreciation and respect. Too late to take that job that could have changed our lives. Too late to go where we want to go, and be who we want to be. If you live understanding that the only thing you really know is that you will die, nothing can ever be too late for you.

My advice is to stop counting your certainties and rely instead on the fact that the moments that you have right now are the single most precious moments of your life, and for all you know, they could be your last. My advice is to treat everyone else like it is the last moments of their lives as well. If someone gave you a day with a complete stranger and said that it would be their last day, wouldn’t you do everything you could to make them feel special and happy? Then why in god’s name don’t we do that now to everyone we meet? If you were given this same day with the people in your life that made you feel most alive, and gave you true and honest love, what would you do then? You would do everything you possibly could for them. Do that now. Don’t let death be the only reason you decide to live. If you aren’t happy, don’t stay anywhere or with anyone because it is safe. NOTHING is safe. Nothing is guaranteed. Except death, of course.

Open your heart and mind to the beauty of life, and to death. If you love someone, tell them. If you want something, go get it. Stop being afraid. Stop hurting people. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop fearing change. Stop acting like any plan you have for the future matters. Stop being disappointed and not doing anything about it. Stop holding grudges. Stop settling. Apologize. Love. Feel. Cry. Scream. Forgive. Move. Laugh. Take chances. Run. Fight. Live. Live like you know that the only thing you have that is for certain, is that you will die.

More About the Author

Lexi Herrick
Lexi Herrick
Lexi is the founder of HerTrack.com. She is also an SEO Nerd living in New York City with her cat and collection of cheesy coffee mugs. Lexi contributes to a number of online publications and is always trying to get involved in the conversation. She's an advocate for equality, knowledge, healthy relationships, compassion, self-confidence, integrity and above all, love. She's addicted to caffeinated beverages and people who make her smile.
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