Before I Die? . . . I’ve hit a wall

“Artist Candy Chang turned the wall of an abandoned house in New Orleans into “a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them.”  “And since putting up that public art project in February 2011, “Before I Die” walls have spread to at least 19 cities around the world”.  (BeforeIdiewall)

The “Before I die” wall at first struck me as a really cool public art project and something potentially inspirational.  Then it turned into an interesting but relatively empty intellectual exercise to help someone write a book.

However, the idea struck a chord in the public consciousness as it has expanded to many cities and countries around the world.  I wonder what it is that draws us into asking ourselves that question?

I used to think that before I died I wanted to travel around the world.  Then as I got older and tired travel seemed too energetic.  So it became live in another country, another culture.  This gradually morphed into spend time with people that are important to me.  Which then made me wonder why I spend all my time working.  Which then led to the intellectualization that I have to work to survive so I won’t die.

Do I think I will die – yes. Do I FEEL I will die – no.

Perhaps that sense of immortality comes from an innate knowing of eternity and the soul?  Perhaps it comes from childhood when we were the center of the universe and anyone over 20 was really “old.”?

I wonder if it matters to you what you do before you die?

and if it matters are you doing anything about it?

14 comments on “Before I Die? . . . I’ve hit a wall

  1. I fear more for the death of others than my own death. I have a firm belief in spirituality and know that I will be reunited with my loved ones when I die. I get messages from my beloved deceased family members at important times or when I need them, even my dog. But, I do fear the loss of others, husband, children…’s hard to even type it without my chest beginning to hurt. Love, Laurie F.


    • Laurie,
      I do have an inkling of what you are talking about.Anticipated loss was more painful for me than the actual loss. There was a time when I couldn’t think of death without breaking down into painful tears. painful is not even the word for it. I guess that’s one of the reasons I so embrace the Baha’i tenants because they moved me from a place of fear to one of calm. Can’t describe it.


  2. Oh I have little things where I think…I’d like to do that someday.
    But life changes.
    My life changed a lot in the past couple of years. As someone else said, I’m not the person I was before….not entirely anyway.
    Most of the things I want to do before I die….I’m trying to do each day.

    I want to be a better person, each day.
    I want to be happier, each day.
    I want to help others….even in some small way, each day.
    I want to continue to learn…I love learning (yes I would have been a professional student if I could have!!) but I want to learn….every day.
    I want to have inner peace…every day.
    I want to live every day with happiness, fun, gratitude, and love.
    I want to give, each day.

    oh the question. There are things I’d like to do before I die. I used to want to make peace with someone who was once very dear to me, and would still like to…but I had to realize, just because I want something, and work on something, doesn’t mean another wants the same thing. I used to feel such guilt that I couldn’t make things like that work. It consumed me…guilt and grief.

    Now, I want to make peace with my past…and and live for the future….how ever long that may be.

    I want to stop hitting walls.


    • Wendy, you’re brilliant!
      Now when you hit a wall take out your talent and paint the wall.
      P.S. If there’s a hole in the wall don’t patch it – become a multi-media artist and paste something meaningful on top.


  3. Oh the important pondering of the “WHYS” … hmmm. Since beating of the 5% chance of survival … I have been journeying the road of whys and purpose … and I agree with all, we continuously suffer “deaths” of many phases in the process ~~ some more traumatic than others … but (I believe)all stepping stones filled with lessons ~~ preparation for the next phase. My list has changed throughout the years … now I wish for the serenity of simplicity with the goal of Be-ing rather than Do-ing … without the baggage of guilt and regret … full of joy and gratitude. 😀


  4. My view of my personal immortality was severely shaken by my car accident. I know I will die at some time. In many ways, the person I was before the accident is dead. The Me Before was much more energetic and driven. My body survived. And, mostly my personality did. But… I am not the same.

    So, what do I want to do before I die? lol Run another marathon. Large plans often don’t happen. I’d rather just focus on living a full life daily.


    • Lydia,
      I have a glimmer of what you are talking about. After my Dx of fibromyalgia I too had “died”.
      I know now that we “die” thousands of deaths in a lifetime we just rarely have a calamity like your accident happen to provide such a huge shift and marker.
      I so like your comment that Large plans often don’t happen. I can only add that when they do happen it often not as we had envisioned them.


      • That is true. There are many “little deaths” in life. Wicca teaches balance. Every fall, the God dies, to be re-born. The seaons themselves reflect death and rebirth. In Tarot, the “death” card does not always mean physical death. It usually refers to a significant change coming in life.

        I think Western society fears death unnessarily. One thing I know after the accident: there is something more out there. I still struggle to figure out who I am post-accident. That must be part of the journey.

        I like the wall concept, though. I think things like that can motivate people to challenge their comfort zones and maybe try something new.


  5. Whoa, suggest you save ending blog questions like that for earlier in the weekend – Sunday night is way too mellow to delve into the deeper mysteries of life. I’ve been working on my “Big Why” for 10 years – perhaps your question is a prod I needed to re-evaluate how it’s going. Sleep tight


    • Rick,
      I’m only 5 years ahead of you but I am sure (from my study of Baha’i) that we are here to learn. And I believe one of the biggest lessons is detachment. Life is about loss – starting from losing the comfort of the womb – and not defining ourselves by what we do, what we have.

      I’ll send you my CD on “Purpose”!


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