This is a Mortality Check

This year, I have had the distinct displeasure of watching multiple communities of which I am a part lose beloved members, watching acquaintances mourn loved ones, and watching friends struggle with the reality of death or illness in their families.

Every time this happens, people start wringing their hearts out like washrags. Suddenly, everyone takes a moment to breathe — to appreciate the things and people they hold dearest, to reflect on their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their lives, and to remember how much that’s important has been lost in their day to day lives.

These deaths and illnesses have made me realize that I live among people holding back their ambitions, their priorities, their goals, dreams, and true joys like water in a dam. They’ve made me realize that I’m one of those people. We all are.

Life is the longest thing we ever do. It’s all we’ve ever known, and it’s difficult, but valuable. So much so that it’s both a luxury and an anxiety to think about it going away. That is… until somebody dies. Then, we forget the difficulty, remember the value, and reflect as the dam breaks.

Everyone’s like “Damn, death.” I’m like “Death? … Dam.”

Last time someone else’s mortality reminded me of my own, I made a promise to myself: that the next time I felt incredibly alive, I would take a moment to to be reminded of mortality. To remind myself that, someday, I won’t be here to feel these surges of crisp, soothing, boundless, satisfying, overwhelming life, so I need to produce as many as I can.

I can’t keep letting death be my only reminder.
And neither can you. So…


Don’t wait until someone dies to remember to value life.
You too are going to die one day.
You won’t be able to come back and do what you didn’t.
You won’t be able to come back and fix what you did.
Does the life you’re living reflect that?

I’m dying to hear from you on Twitter @OpeolaBukola or on my website,

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