Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Happy Enough to Die

{inspired by Florence + the Machine's "I'm Not Calling You a Liar"}

"I am happy enough to die."

That phrase confused me as a kid. If you're happy, why would you want to die? Doesn't it make more sense to die when you're sad?

Well, in a way it does. But who wants a death like that? Who wants to die with a broken soul leaking from his eyes? Who wants to die with a smashed heart tearing its way through his ribs? Answer: No one.

An ideal death--if that can be a thing--is a satisfied death. You leave this world with a smile, and few regrets. You relinquish your grip on life with a confident wholeness, knowing you've done what you were here to do and you're ready to face what comes next. For some people an ideal death might be taking a bullet for a loved one; for others it might be a quiet, anticipated passing surrounded by friends.

But whether you envision your last as moments heroic or nostalgic, one thing's for sure: you don't want to die miserable.

Some moments are beautiful and whole enough to be your last. "I'm happy enough to die" doesn't mean, "Wow, life is so great that I think I'll leave now." It means, "I can't imagine a more perfect ending."

It was just this year that I really began to understand being "happy enough to die." As to be expected (considering how I am), the moment that enlightened me wasn't breathtakingly romantic or overwhelmingly sweet. I think my first "happy enough to die moment" took place in a vehicle driven by a friend. We were driving along, listening to music, laughing, talking, and one of those Well-This-Was-Definitely-A-Poor-Driving-Decision moments occurred.

I didn't panic. I didn't really feel alarmed at all. I remember continuing to laugh and be happy, thinking, "Well, if I'm going to die, I really don't mind dying with my best friend."

Those moments--when you can close your eyes and feel joy like a tangible thing in your heart--are the moments in which you wouldn't mind dying. There's something satisfying, poetic about your last breath being a laugh, your last glance being full of love, your last words being happy. No one genuinely wants to die crying, full of hatred and spewing cruelty. Everyone wants to die happy.

I think the moral here is clear: No one knows when death will come, so if you want to die happy, then live happy. Seize every moment, give every smile. Laugh lots, forgive fully, live intentionally.

Live happy enough to die.


1 comment:

  1. Pretty cool stuff. Honestly... I wouldn't want my life to end the way it is. I'm not happy enough to die. But I'm working on it.