Fight Club is probably one of my favorite movies of all time. My mind is figuratively blown every time someone says they’ve never seen it. For real. How? How have you not seen it yet?
While I think that Buzzfeed has pretty much ruined the idea of lists with their endless “Best of” bullshit, I’ve gone ahead and created my own list comprised of six quotes that illustrate the harshest, and most freeing aspects of life that I have realized by working as a mortician.
Accept Your Death: “This is your life. And it’s ending one moment at a time”
First and foremost. Stop wasting time. Every breath you take is one less. Every second that passes is one less. You are going to die. And whether it’s OK. Or it’s just a God awful horror show until lights out. You have to realize this simple truth. Your life is ending. Incrementally. Right. Now.
Question Your Choices: “If you died right now, how would you feel about your life?”
I’m incredibly guilty of wasting my time. How many hours have I spent on Facebook reading every click bait story that pops up? Incessantly checking my Instagram for likes? Dammit Amber stop it already sheesh! So, I try to constantly remind myself that there are a million things I could be doing. I indulge in art, I write (like now), I go for a walk, I get drunk at a bar and talk to random strangers. At the end of my life here, will I wish that I had balanced my hours differently? Will you?
Don’t Make Material Based Choices: “The more things you own, the more they own you.”
If you think that at the end of your life you will feel good about owning a lot of “stuff” you’re sorely mistaken. It’s not that owning things isn’t legit. I have a ton of clothing that I take out of the closet and just hug because I love them so much. But where is your line? At some point you become so obsessed with working more and more, in order to own more and more. And then you can never leave because of debt, or desire to get the latest and greatest. This leads us to…
Do Make Bold Moves: “I just don’t want to die without a few scars.”
Get outside! Go on! Do something amazing with your life that isn’t buying shit you don’t need. Have an experience! Whatever that means to you. And don’t wait til the end to do the things that are on your bucket list, like traveling or whatever the fuck else people put on them, because there’s no guarantee you’ll even make it to the end of the day. Seriously. I’ve buried those people. Someone just like you. Reading this. Reading something online. They go outside. They get in their car. And that’s it. I’m not trying to scare you. But I am saying take risks. Be strong. Be brave. Bad things will happen, but they are proof that you lived.
Grief Is Not The End: “Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.”
I can honestly say I haven’t lost anyone that I was incredibly, intimately close with yet. Meaning my parents or siblings. But I have looked into the face of impossible, aching, grief. And I have felt both my own selfish death fears and crippling sadness for a human I do not know, simply from seeing the pain they are in. And grief, it feels like this shitty sort of state that you can never really escape. Because life never goes back to normal. How could it? But what it does, is, evolve. Even when it falls apart. It presses forward. It is the essence of life. And while we don’t always have to find meaning in everything I think it is fair to say that there is within us an innate desire to pull ourselves back up when we stumble, no matter how hard we’ve fallen. And, its usually during a disaster that we see some of the most beautiful characteristics of love and care expressed by our community at large. So when you’re down, make this your Grief Psalm. Your mantra. Your reminder to get out of bed during your darkest hours. If you haven’t felt it yet. Don’t worry. You will.
In Truth. None Of This Matters: “[Have] the ability to let that which does not matter, truly slide.
Remember. Everything you feel. It’s real and it’s valid. You are allowed to be sad. Angry. Numb. Scared. But just don’t forget to let the small stuff slide. The guy that cut you off in traffic the other day? Doesn’t matter. The tiff you got in with your friend? Doesn’t matter. The bartender who didn’t bring your change back even though you clearly did not mean to give him a three dollar tip for one drink that he rolled his eyes about giving you? Doesn’t matter. They are all going to die. You are going to die. We are all going to die. So use your time wisely. And live each day like it could be your last. As a mortician I promise you, “on a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero.”