No One Consciously Wants to Die

By: Yoram Yahav

“Even those who want to go to heaven, don’t want to die”, Steve Jobs.

My loving mother died a few months ago. She was still young and active, desired to live a long life and definitely did not want to die. Fortunately, when it happened it was quick and painless. Even more fortunately, the whole family was all around. With great sadness, we kissed her calm face and said goodbye. Now we have all accepted her passing and moved on in life to spend more time and enjoy my wonderful dad.

Unfortunately, losing dear ones is not a new thing for me. It happened with friends right in front of me and it followed with family members in the States and in Israel. What has been new for me were the thoughts of needing to “hug the moment” which kept and keep coming up in my boiling brain each time death visits my life.

I ran across an article written by an 85 year-old who found out that he was about to die. My translation is an appropriate reflection of some of my thoughts on life… Here is what he wrote:

“If I were to live my life again, I would allow myself to make many more mistakes and not try to be so perfect. I would rest more, lie on my back more and play foolishly more frequently.


I now know very few things which I would take seriously. My style would be crazier and definitely less logical. I would take more risks, travel more, climb more mountains, swim and raft in more wild rivers, and stop to watch many more sunsets. I would burn more fuel and eat much more ice cream and use less food additives. Far less than 90% of my worries ever manifested, so more would have been real problems and not imaginary ones.


You see, I am one of those people who has lived very sanely, yet with emotion and not small degree of passion, an hour at a time, day after day. It doesn’t mean that I did not have special moments, but if I could do it all again, I would strive to make every moment marvelous and special.  Actually, my goal would be to try to have these kind of marvelous moments one after the other. I would be a person that doesn’t take a thermometer, a hot bottle, a coat and a parachute everywhere and I would laugh much more.


If I could do it all again, I would travel lightly, start walking barefoot earlier in the Spring and stay this way until the end of the autumn. I would play more sports, not insist on getting the best grades and definitely not start to plan a career in middle school. I would smell more flowers, be a thousand times more spontaneous, hug many more children and say I ‘love you’ many more times to my friends and family. All of these would have been an introduction to my life if I could have lived them again. I clearly understand that I won’t get a second chance, so….”

I am surrounded by so many ambitious people too busy making money that they forget to breathe. So many are rushing through life chasing their tails with a million excuses and reasons not to do what they love. What has got into us human beings, are we so blind to the quality of our lives and relationships? Are we so screwed up that we fail see and do what is real and true? Why are we so busy living other people’s lives? How much money, gold, stocks and things, can we take with us to the grave?

Don’t wait to be 85 my friends and regret those things which you did not do. Be spontaneous, spend your money while you are alive and kicking, be less afraid, enjoy the purity and sensual moment of a kiss and eat that amazing cheesecake slowly and joyfully. The only sure thing is that we are all going to die. Have no doubts, questions or qualms about it. So go out there and enjoy – Life is short!