15 Jul 2012

Choose Your Death

How do you want to die if you could choose?

Strangulation? Drowning? Shot to the head? In your sleep? Freak accident?

Sounds like a question that a psychopathic killer might ask a hostage. And it probably is. But this question has to have an answer sooner or later, even if we're not being asked with a knife pressed against your throat or a gun pointing at your forehead. 

We don't ask this to ourselves so explicitly. We always obsess ourselves over how we want to live our lives to maximise satisfaction, but never how to die. Actually we indirectly plan our deaths to some extent, tweaking the chances of a certain type of death from occurring. By eating healthier we reduce the chance of us dying from heart disease or stroke. By staying off crime we're less likely to die from a gunshot or from execution. Most of us though, we all plan to do specific stuff that we want to do, the things that make us happy and fulfilled, so that we can die a less regrettable death.
So to only think about how to live without really planning through our death sounds like a half-formed plan for life. As much as we want to enjoy our time here and/or make a lasting impression while we're here, we should also know how to exit the stage gracefully if we wanted to, or to end it performance with a bang. Wouldn't it be a shame if you died while doing mundane work in an office cubicle? Or while in a restroom stall? It'd certainly be nicer knowing you have a great chance of dying peacefully in a bed while admiring the gorgeous sunset outside your window, or dying in a leather couch after finishing your last glass of red wine while listening to Mozart in your exquisite living room, or simply dying with loved ones beside you, knowing that you've done amazing things in life and you have nothing else in life to chase after.

While we chase after our plans in life, we should also draft a plan for our death. That doesn't mean always laying in bed to ensure you will die in bed! Rather we should tailor our life goals around our desired death; if you want the luxurious death in your mansion, you do things in your life to help you get that mansion. You want to die with many friends and family members around you, then focus on making friends and perhaps consider starting a family of your own. You want to die doing the thing you love, then you pursue what you love. 

This game of life will end someday. It's not only up to us to rack up high scores, but also to choose the ideal game ending we want out of all the possible endings. So which is your "perfect ending"?