“Simon, Simon, hello, can you hear me?”

“What? Who is this?”

“It’s me – Death?”


“Yes, I’m Death. I’ve been trying to get your attention for ages!”


“Yes, please pay attention – we really need to talk!”

“Please… I’m sleeping…”

“Yes, it seems that this was the only time to grab you, you’re normally rushing around, not paying attention to anything much at all.”

“This is crazy. I don’t know Death. And I certainly would not wish to engage in a discussion with you – how absurd and morbid to introduce yourself thus!”

“But you don’t understand. I’m not morbid. I find it so perplexing that most of humanity thinks this is so. It is really so insulting actually to be regarded as ‘morbid’. Truly, I am not”!

“Please, go away! This is ludicrous! It’s my Sunday afternoon nap time!”

“And yes, I repeat, the only time to grab your attention! Listen please… each and every living presence must, ultimately, pass away – it’s the law, the law of impermanence. It really is quite simple – all that is, at some point, must cease to be.”

“Yes, so what – all, ultimately ceases to be! Now go away, I do not want to have a conversation with or about death! It’s futile and destructive”.

“Oh, futile and destructive is it?”

“Yes, now PLEASE, leave me alone”.

“Look, I do understand that you would prefer to avoid such a discussion, but seriously, I do urge you to reconsider.”

“I do not want to discuss this as repeatedly advised. What earthly good can come of it anyway?”

“Well – are you aware that most of us die with regrets?”

“No, I am not”.

“Yes, silly regrets really – things like not telling someone you loved them, not saying sorry and suchlike. Even though everyone has ‘intellectually’ understood that the inevitable day will at some point dawn,
one does not know it to be so, hence one tends, in fact, to have this nonsense notion of immortality. You can read more about regrets on the Samaritan’s website, very informative actually.”

“Hm. So how then does one come more to a gnosis – if I could describe it thus – of death?”

“Simple… meditation and mindfulness practices help a lot. Most people in human bodies have had this tendency to stop feeling what is going on in the body. Do you know for example, that every day, the physical
equivalent of an arm of your body is replaced? So in effect, every day, every moment even, no-one is the same person. One’s consciousness, however, can be there discerning what is happening if one chooses for
it to be so.”

“Hm. And so then what?”

“Well then… if you start paying attention to what is happening while it is happening (which is in fact what all that being mindful is about) you start to appreciate all that is around you, simple things like the blue of the sky, the sound of birds, the brightness of the sun…”

“Hm. But wouldn’t appreciating ‘life’ more not actually make us more afraid to die, to cling on even more desperately?”

“Well no, it doesn’t. You see, what happens is that you realise the temporariness in everything. But then… the big realisation arises in you!”

“Hm, really! I cannot say that I am at all convinced. Now please, can you go away and leave me alone. My wife will be calling me soon for lunch!”

“Let’s talk just a little bit more. This ‘big realisation’ that you will ultimately and surely intuit is that in fact nothing dies.”

“But you just explained to me that everything dies!”

“It appears so, but no. Everything just transforms. My good friend, Thich Nhat Hanh explains it beautifully…”

“Oh please, I don’t want to hear any more! Do, please, please leave me alone!”

“Just a few more minutes. As I was saying… Thich explains things beautifully. You see, nothing dies, it simply transforms. Thich shows this through his meditation on a cloud… “

“Seriously, I have had enough. A cloud!”

“Yes. You see, a cloud becomes rain, it waters the plants, tea is made with the leaves, the tea enters and becomes part of the body… everything is a cycle. The body you are inhabiting now will, at some uncertain time in the future, cease to be; parts of it cease to be in every moment as I already mentioned. But consciousness – well that’s another matter – although, of course, it isn’t matter, but I’m sure you understand what I mean”.

“Okay, so what if I decided I wanted to start being a bit more mindful? I haven’t given it any thought, but, yes, I would prefer not to die with a list of silly regrets…”

“Beautiful. Just start to watch your breath, that’s all to begin with. Things will naturally start to change”.

“Hm. Watch my breath? That does not make a lot of sense to me.”

“Just try it for a while, when you remember. You could also start going to a local Death Cafe. My friend Barbara, she could host a “Let’s talk about death over dinner” event for you. Just take one step at a time,
that’s all you need to do”.

“Simon, Simon… Oh darling, I don’t know why you bother with these silly newspapers, I always find you sleeping behind one on the couch.”

“What? Who’s that?”

“It’s me darling, your wife! Gosh, you look a bit ashen as if you just met a ghost or something. Are you ok?”

“What? Where am I? Oh sorry love, I must have fallen asleep”.

“You always do! I’m used to your Sunday naps by now. Come on anyway, let’s have lunch”.

“Oh, smells heavenly. How about we take a quick walk around the garden first?”


“Yes, we are alway rushing around, not appreciating the small things in our lives. We really do have so much to be grateful for.”

“Hm. You’re puzzling me darling, is not at all like you to want to take time out to smell the roses! Aren’t you in a hurry to get some paperwork, or some other similarly mind-less task, sorted out? But yes please, let’s have a little walk around the garden together. I have been dying to show you my herb garden”.

“Dying to? Gosh, my love I really don’t want either of us to die, but… I’ve been thinking. We perhaps should start to prepare…”

“What? Really? Please, we are about to have lunch, don’t start to get all morbid on me all of a sudden. What was in the news today? More on this silly, annoying virus perhaps? What on earth are the statistics
showing now?”

“No, I’ve just been thinking… I don’t want to die with any regrets you know… And also you know, well we really need to prepare ourselves. I don’t want to be cremated.”

“No darling, I didn’t know that, I just always assumed that was what you would want”.

“I didn’t want to mention it, you know… Anyway, let’s take a few breaths together over by your new herbs – I so love the smell of basil, reminds me of so many of those beautiful moments we spent on our honeymoon in Italy – ahhh. Oh and have you ever heard about death cafes?”

“No! Now let’s go and enjoy our lunch together, I’m starving. And let’s open that nice Chardonnay, we could even sit in the garden for a while with a glass..”

“Yes let’s enjoy these beautiful moments…”

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