An important piece by Pieter Hintjens on dying.
But, perhaps just as important, it’s a piece on living as well:
Over time I learned that if you chat with a stranger, in the course of any kind of interaction (like buying a hot dog, or groceries) they’ll chat back with a beam of pleasure. Slowly, like a creeping addiction to coffee, this became my drug of choice.
I feel like there many similarities here between Pieter and myself and his piece has so many layers to it – it’s worth reading more than a few times.
Thinking through your own death and how you’ll communicate that to your family, your children, your friends, and even now the internet is a curious thing.
I look back on the work that I’ve done and how much of it will sit forever on the internet. Some of it is pretty (and pretty good) but a lot of it is ugly too.
I wonder how my kids and their kids will look back on what I’ve written, what I’ve created, and how they will interpret my body of work in the context in which they currently live.
This principle here could be applied grossly to much of our lives:
Be honest and transparent with others. It takes time to grieve and it is far easier to process Bob’s death when you can talk about it with Bob. There is no shame in dying, it is not a failure.
There is very little shame in most of the things we do, the things that we try. We interpret these things as either success or failure but what they really are is just data; singular data points in a much larger cartesian system with a huge array of data.
That might be one of the better “protocols” that I’ve come up with for life.