So when are you going to die?
I don’t mean to be morbid but it’s kind of an interesting question for all of us. (Not when you’re going to die. I mean when each of us is.)
The thing is, if we knew when we were going to die it would change everything, wouldn’t it? Yes of course some people will say “No, wouldn’t change a thing for me”. But they’re in the minority, along with those weird people who win the lottery and say in snippy little voices: “The money won’t change our lives at all.” You want to strangle them don’t you? Or at least shout: “So give it to someone who’ll use it. You idiots.”
If we knew when we were going to die, wouldn’t it change a lot about life? Wouldn’t it help us get priorities straight? Use time more carefully? Stop worrying about the trivia? Forget little grudges that eat away at the edge of our consciousness?
Would we ditch the job, cancel the insurance, mend fences with friends we fell out with? Travel the world? Feed the hungry? Donate to the poor? Study medicine? (There might be a cure for whatever it is that’s going to kill you.)
Or would we just slob around saying “Who cares? I’m going to die next January anyway”. Personally, I think I’d just hide under a table, but I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat.
My 81-year-old mother said just last week: “I’d like to blow my money now and really enjoy it, but I can’t – I don’t know if I’ll need it later on or not. I don’t know how long I’m going to live.”
She had a point. On the other hand, she was drinking a large glass of white wine at the time and scoffing a big bowl of pasta, she’d recently been to the cinema (King’s Speech starring Colin Firth), we’d had a lively night out with the other girls in the family the day before and she’s looking ahead to her art classes and planning her summer holiday. So she’s not exactly hiding under her table. (Drinking others under it from time to time, maybe.)
Nevertheless she was referring to just the problem I’m talking about. We don’t know how long we’ll live. So how can we plan? It’s like going on holiday not knowing whether you’ll be staying for a week or two years. What do you pack?
And so the Death Clock offers a pretty good service. First, it’s free. Second, it tells you on which day you’ll die. Actuarial tables can tell you when people in general, evaluated statistically, are likely to die. But the Death Clock tells you when you’ll die. You only have to key in a few facts about your age and lifestyle and – bang – there’s your last day on earth. Say you weigh 300 pounds and you smoke like a crematorium. You never look on the bright side of life and you down a bottle of Jack Daniels every day. You’re a 55-year-old man. Just key your details quickly into Death Clock and there’s your death day. You’ll die on February 15th 2013. (I just checked.) Now that should help you make the most of the time you have left. Stock up on booze and fags.
The Death Clock informed me this morning that I’ll die on the first of August 2030. I quite like that date – summer is always my best time of year. I’ll be 74, which is not bad. And it means I can now plan accordingly. Unless I get more optimistic about life. If I were more optimistic about life, the Clock tells me I’d live until the 30th January 2038.
Try the Death Clock for yourself if you want to know when you’ll meet the Grim Reaper. It’s not 100% accurate, mind you. I keyed my mother’s details in and it turns out she died last year…