A funny thing happens when you first learn that you are going to die, time suddenly warps out of scope and ideas that once seem impossible take on a totally different realm of possibility.
As death lazily approaches, you’re constantly aware of its presence, lingering over every interaction, every connection you make; it consumes your perspective and forces it into a completely different frame of view. Focus shifts from the long term to the short term and then from the short back once again to the long, but when it returns it’s more a thing about how the world will exist without you, and how you want to be remembered when that moment comes to pass.
Death isn’t something we tend to process until we must, and when we have to we tend to view it only in the most negative light, as something that really only happens to others. When it’s your death, it’s the death of everything you know, the cessation of existence. That’s too infinite a thing to ponder without getting lost in it, and time becomes too short to comprehend it beyond the base rationalities.
When we die, we cease to exist in a physical form, and carry on only in how we have entangled with those we’ve encountered in our journey through this world. This is the only afterlife we really ever need to ponder because it’s the only one we can be certain exists.
When our consciousness entangles with the consciousness of another, a change takes place which transforms each into a new state of being. This is how we consciously grow, and how our consciousness grows, but our consciousness isn’t confined to what’s inside us. What’s inside us is defined by what we encounter on the outside, and what is outside becomes defined by how we perceive things on the inside.
This gets lost in the immediate realization of death, though. In its passing, we are left only with regrets and unfulfilled desire. When there is no time to ponder it, no time to fear it; when all the buildup comes to pass and we exist in the final moments of life; the only thing we wish is that we’d spent more time living it.