When a Friend Dies

My friend Scott Mize died last week from the consequences of a stroke that he received while walking around San Francisco a few days earlier.

Maybe because we die for the first time, breaking a chain of life billions of years long, it is shocking. Or maybe my life is particularly lucky, and with the exception of my father who died young, death of friends and close relatives was not that much part of it.

Many of us want to live as long as possible, and are looking forward to science and technology to progress and allow healthy lives to last even longer. Radical longevity with human lifespans of hundreds of years or more.

There will be a point in time when we will truly acquire the ability to choose if we want to die. Both as individuals and as society we will learn to wield this power over death.

In the meantime, make sure all the right people know what you want, with what is possible today. Scott was able to let his sister know that he didn’t want to be dependent on machines to keep him alive, to breathe in his case, and the hospital was able to accommodate his desire. 

The best is to look at life, and make sure that as you age, you are able to look back without regrets for the things that you didn’t do. Taking risks, being curious, learning, loving, all of this is what living is.