Don’t Forget, You’re Going to Die

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Day in, day out: errands, to do lists, Facebook posts, phone calls, bills to pay.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

Curled up watching Netflix. Soaking in the bath. Nodding off in the barber’s chair.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

Holding someone’s hand. Blocking someone’s call.

In your mother’s kitchen. In a dressing room in the mall.

After hours at your desk. On the toilet.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

Maybe an aneurysm before you finish this sentence.

Maybe a car crash this afternoon.

Maybe your cold doesn’t get better.

Maybe there’s a lump.

Maybe there’s a blockage.

Maybe there’s a gun.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

Your breath will go out one last time.

Your skin will cool.

Your bowels will release. It will be messy.

Someone may wash your hair. Someone may pick out an outfit for you to wear.

Open or closed? If you didn’t decide, someone else will.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

There will be words spoken. People will eat.

Someone may be lost in their grief.

Others will joke, check email, sniff casseroles.

Boys and girls in itchy clothes will get antsy.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

Things you handled every day will go in boxes, maybe in the trash.

Your clothes will go to Goodwill. Your bank account will close.

After a while, no more mail will come.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

Your best quips and one-liners will be repeated as stories for a generation or two.

Someone may recall your story as they sit at the dining table you left them.

Your birth certificate will be scanned and go into some cousin’s genealogy file.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

In a hundred years, everyone who knew you will be gone.

Someone else will live in the place that you lived, or it will be torn down.

Restaurants and shops will all be different.

The music of your era will be historic.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

As your body disintegrates, the earth will shift.

Rivers will cut deeper into canyons.

Sea levels may rise, coastline shifts.

Dust and debris from the vastness of space

will mingle with mud and your own putrification.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

So while you’re alive, clarify.

There’s no time to lose.

You can do anything you want, but not everything you want.

Your choices matter. How you spend your time right now matters.

Don’t forget. You’re going to die.

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