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Let us remember that we will die
so that we may become wise!

Friday, I visited a friend in London whom I have known for 40 years. He will die soon. Lying almost motionless, he hardly expresses himself. I sit with him and ponder what may be in his thoughts, dreams and images.

The following sentence from Psalm 90 came to mind. Although it is in a context that has become very foreign to me, I like it!
„Teach us to remember that we must die, that we may grow wise!“

At more than 80 years old, I find the certainty that my life will have an end comforting, but the idea of „eternal“ life is a nightmare. I am grateful for all the happiness I have encountered. However, I don’t want to experience struggles like the ones I had to face again indefinitely.

I also notice how the amount of experience that comes with a long life becomes a hindrance when it comes to tackling seemingly impossible tasks. However, when I look at the generation of the very young, those of my grandchildren, I see that they still have the necessary freedom to dare the „impossible“ and probably also to win. It’s nice to be able to experience it like that. It makes letting go easy.

I also cannot imagine how a successful adaptation to constantly changing environmental conditions can succeed without new generations taking over whose brains are not burdened by the „recipes for success“ of the past. And I really don’t want to do without my memories!

I experience the death of others as really difficult. I can’t really understand it, and I can’t bear it either when it’s the death of close relatives and friends. The death of my dear wife leaves a wound that will probably be with me for the rest of my life.

Whether my dying friend has an idea of being after death, I don’t know, but I assume so. It goes through my mind again how unattractive I find this idea. In my imagination, I will have been when my life ends. For a while, I will still be a memory in the minds of those who knew me, perhaps loved me, to then disappear in the sea of traces of all those who have gone before me.

Until then, I want to use the time I have left to enjoy this beautiful world and do my best to support love and understanding.

I believe we can lead and shape our lives freely if we make friends with the reality of death.
You, too, can approach death with interest if you appreciate life in the here and now.
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