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Tag: death

Writing My Own Obituary

I’m currently reading “Achieve Anything In Just One Year” by Jason Harvey. What I have been doing this past year is to write in my journal every single day, according to the assignment of the day in his book. I am currently on Day 146 and in this section, it asks us to write our own obituary.

Obviously this idea is quite morbid. Who wants to think about our undoing or our end. Who also wants to write about it and what’s the point? According to Jason, the point of the exercise is that it allows us to think about our life and how content we are about it. It makes you think about what people think of you at the end of your life and whether you feel accomplished by everything that you have done or not. It is an exercise that encourages participation and active engagement and to prevent yourself from procrastinating too much in life. You get to focus on the time that you have left and to make sure that you utilize it as much as you possible can.

Without further ado, here is a short obituary that I wrote for myself. It’s going be weird coming back to it in a few years.

The Life of Anh Phan

Anh Phan was born on May 2nd, 1987. He passed away peacefully on September 9th, 2072 at the prime age of 85. He was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and emigrated to the United States when he was 3. He was raised in the city of Worcester, MA for many years before making the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

Mr. Phan had a long and prosperous career. He earned his bachelors at Emerson College in 2010 in the degree of Visual Media Arts. After several years on a variety of television shows in the industry, he made the transition to the field of education. He earned his California teaching credential in December of 2014 and started his elementary education career that following January. He further pursued his education by earning his Masters & Doctorate degree at California State University – Northridge in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

A renowned educator and disciplined in the field of self-help, Mr. Phan traveled across the United States and spoke at conferences to help improve our education infrastructure and to motivate young students to be active with their life. He wrote several best-selling self-development books as a means to encourage the general population to get started on the right path.

Mr. Phan was always an ambitious and driven characters who always saw the best in his friends, family and colleagues. His smile lit up the faces of many who had the fortunate opportunity to know him. But behind his warm nature was also a fiery spirit as well. He was an avid dodgeball player throughout his youth and participated in several long distance races in his career. He used his athletic experience to help coach youth Cross country teams to great success.

Mr. Phan was a gracious character and will be missed for his kindness, enthusiastic energy and contributions to his community.

He leaves behind his husband, Taylor Jacobs of 50 years, along with two sons and two daughters.

Post thoughts on the obituary

I definitely felt weird writing this. Not because it involves death but I found myself wanting people to praise me. I had to come up with adjectives to describe how I think people think of me and it seems a bit conceited. I know I have certain traits that my friends tell me are quite appealing but to write about it, felt a bit off. It definitely made me think about my career goals and really put into perspective of how I envisioned my life to look like. It boiled down to educator, motivational speaker and best-selling writer. We’ll see how this turns out!

The Concept of Not Existing

Date: 9/23/13
Personal Prompt: Death and Non-existence – Lack of Conscience/Awareness

Answer: I recently had a discussion with one of my very good friends recently about a topic that many of us want to avoid. It is about death. And not only about death but, the feeling and the fear that thinking about such a concept invokes in your soul. It is a really creepy topic but it has to be talked about because of its inevitability to happen to each and every one of us. The thought of death and the idea that you will one day not exist can have a psychological impact on your mindset and needless to say, I still struggle with the idea and would love to hear your thoughts about your experiences/your thoughts on death.

Let me first explain my fear, the one that sends such a strong chill down my spine. It is perhaps the one thought/idea that paralyzes me when it comes into my conscience and I consider myself very strong-willed. I also consider myself spiritual and do believe there is an after-life but even then, the idea that I’m going to discuss is so mind-boggling that I may even have to consider talking to a therapist about such issues.

Have you guys ever sat down or laid in bed one night and looked up at the ceiling and then think about your existence in this world? Have you been observant of the fact that you are “living” – embracing your senses with seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, and tasting. Now think, and I’m going to get gloomy, you’re going to encounter death one day and tell me, you will no longer be able to use your senses at all. In fact, you cease to exist. You will have no sense of consciousness. The big WHAT IF question is: “What if there is no afterlife?” What if what you’re living now, is it. And when you die, kablam, kaput, nothing afterwards. Obviously you won’t be aware that you are dead but the fact that you no longer will “exist” is pretty darn scary is it not? Thinking about such topics has such an immense psychological impact on your mind because of the concern and worry it can cause.

Death is such a taboo topic but I think it is quite important to discuss it freely. I stumbled upon this forum while searching about other people’s question on the idea:

And a forum poster named TakenBoy wrote this:

I guess because nonexistence is foreign to us. Everything we have experienced in our lives, heck, EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of our lives has been nothing but existence. Even those dream worlds that may exist in our minds are in existence, albeit only in our minds.

Nobody has ever experienced nonexistence in their lifetime, as life is nothing but existence, so of course it’s a bit difficult to comprehend fully. The idea that the afterlife will be nothing but eternal darkness, except you can’t see anything so it won’t be darkness and that you won’t be experiencing it and… Yeah… It’s actually quite a bit to wrap your head around.

So what if this is true? Isn’t that scary? Even if you were in hell, you are “experiencing” this idea of consciousness.

However…when I was researching the topic, someone else brought up a good point. If non-existence is scary to some of us, then eternal life will be scary to others. Imagine living forever in the afterworld for hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, trillions of years! Will things get repetitive? Will it be boring to the point you ask that you not exist.

For me, as much as it is a scary concept to comprehend, I want to face it head-on. I want to encounter these mental thoughts and think to myself, it’s okay to be scared but this is part of life. I have strong belief there is a different world/life after this one has ended. Whether it be re-incarnation or a heaven/hell, when my time comes, I’ll have something. It is too depressing to believe that there will be NOTHING after this life and if that is the case, then I won’t be conscious or have these emotions/thoughts anyways, so why does it matter. Life is too precious to dwell on death and not living. I want to make the time I have on this life amazing and do the things that I want to do. But from time to time, it’s important to have these discussions and thoughts to kind of show us how important it is to cherish our existence.

Daily Prompt – The Deathly Jump

Date: 6/18/13

Answer: The thing that prevents me most from taking risks is my fear of death. I know that everyone fears the darkness that will eventually come to all of us but for me, it is a silent fear. There are days where I randomly think about death and it frightens me so much that it blocks me from thinking clearly. That being said, there are a lot of risky activities that I would love to partake in. Such examples are skydiving, bungee jumping, sliding down a huge pyramid and doing various stunts. I think I would like the adrenaline rush of the activities but my fear of height and anxiety of something going wrong prevents me from diving right into it.

There are also activities that doesn’t involve being up high such as swimming in an open ocean with friendly sharks or rock climbing that I get so tense about. I know that I shouldn’t be fearing these things and that if I want to do them, I should! But it’s a matter of trying to train my mind at this point to tell myself that it’s okay to have these feelings and that it will soon pass. I tell myself that I will get over this fear and I will eventually get over it.

I don’t have a clear vision on how to fully get myself comfortable yet but each day, I’m willing to do something that is outside of my comfort zone. As soon as I am comfortable with myself and enjoying the life that I am living, I feel as if death will come easier and that it shouldn’t be something we fear and that if the worse happens…it happens. So be it but to live your life in fear constantly and not enjoy it sounds so wrong to me. But yes…to skydive and to bungee jump and to scream at the top of my lungs as I’m falling from the sky with such an adrenaline rush.

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