All posts tagged: death

Write Your Own Obituary

You are flicking through the paper when you stumble across a story with your name in the headline – it’s your own obituary.  There in black and white is your life story, a weighing-up of your achievements and legacy. This was the reality for Alfred Nobel. When his brother Ludvig passed away while visiting Cannes in 1888, a French newspaper erroneously printed that Alfred had died.  He opened the paper to find out what had been written about his brother only to find an account of his own life, describing him as the inventor of dynamite. “Le marchand de la mort est mort,” the obituary stated (The merchant of death is dead).  “Dr Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday,” the article continued. I think it would be safe to say that Alfred was shocked and disappointed with what he read that day about his contribution to mankind. Faced with this unique situation, he recognised an opportunity to rewrite his own legacy – the …

If “God has Planted Eternity in Men’s Hearts and Minds”… Where’s Home?

Moving house is an upheaval that most of us have the smarts to do just twice or thrice in a lifetime.  The impost of upending your life’s accumulation into cardboard boxes is unmentionable, albeit cathartic. I’m an ‘If-it-hasn’t-been-used-in-the-last-12-months-get-rid-of-it’ girl.  This invariably causes friction with my ‘I-better-hold-onto-this-in-case-I-need-it-next-decade’ husband. We managed.  We wrapped it all in newsprint, packed it in boxes, stacked it in a truck and shifted it to a neighbouring suburb within a few days, thank you very much.  I may have taken a few stealthy armloads to the wheelie bin when hubby wasn’t looking… During this madness there were a few moments when I had headspace to look around and mourn what we were unlatching ourselves from.  A red front door.  A sun-drenched window seat.  A magnolia tree.  A gate to the best neighbours in the world.  A doorjamb marked with our son’s height at birth, one, two.  A doorbell that can be heard four doors down.  I allowed a self-indulgent tear to be shed over the place we had called home for the …

Memento Mori – Remember That You Will Die

“I can’t find your pulse,” the nurse said. This didn’t bode well for my employment prospects.  I was sitting there, breathing, blinking, alive as far as I could tell, enduring a medical check for a job I wanted so badly, and which hinged on this evaluation. The nurse continued prodding at my wrist to no avail.  I waited for her to lift her eyes and solemnly shake her head, to say, “I’m sorry Claire, the medical requirements for this position are strict: criteria number 5.4 specifies you must be alive!” She didn’t say that, of course.  Eventually she did find a vein with the requisite throb of blood flow to confirm my humanity to the new boss.  Cue Hallelujah Chorus. One day my pulse will stop.  We each, every one of us, have a death date.  We can frequent the gym, gargle green smoothies, cook with goji berries, chia seeds and maca powder, detox, pop vitamins and steer clear of sugar like it’s the devil incarnate, but even with the best, most holistic, health-conscious treatment …