Before I die

Charles 6 Comments

Posted by Vale

At the Southbank Deathfest in January one of the best features was the wall that invited people to write down what it was that they wanted to do before they died.

The idea began in New Orleans when artist Candy Chang pasted the first ‘Before I Die’ wall on the side of an empty house.

You can see more about the first wall here.

Although it closed in September buy tadalafil 20mg uk 2011, the idea has spread all over the world including London. Interest has been so great that a website has been set up showing walls from across the world. It includes a kit for people to create their own before I die wall. Why not set one up near you? Something for one of those empty shopfronts on our derelict High Streets?

The kit can be found here.


  1. Charles

    For me, it’s not so much what I can do before I die; after all, I won’t be here afterwards to benefit from that, nor remember it, and it seems to mean more in the anticipation than in the accomplishment. To look back at death and think, ‘I did it’ – what will that matter to me then, more than mere vanity?

    No. If I don’t get it done, I hope I won’t mind so much; it’s got to be worth having lived for its own sake. That kind of value doesn’t accrue with accomplishments – you leave them all behind, along with your worldly wealth and your body, for others to deal with or benefit from, while for you at that moment they will amount to nothing. But what of your self?

    It may be a comforting thought meanwhile that others will live to have the benefits of what I’ve done with my life. But what about at the time of my death? It’s what I will have become by then that matters more to me now; that I will be satisfied enough with who I am to be able to let go of myself willingly, not knowing what’s coming next, not even knowing if I’m going to find out.

    If I really want to do something before I die, it is to be able to acquiesce to dying this afternoon; and that is something I have to try and do today and every day, not just once before I die.

  2. Charles

    Now that is what I call food for thought, Jonathan, thank you.

    Much as I enjoyed the DeathFest wall, it dawned on me at the time that really, it’s just another way of saying “here’s a few things I’d really like to do a lot.” Just a way of prioritising things afresh. Useful if it spreads the idea of living with an acceptance of our own mortality rather than just rattling down the rails towards the tunnel, looking backwards all the time.

  3. Charles

    I like the line, no doubt written by a stressed parent or over-worked employee:

    Before I die… I want to get my life back.

  4. Charles

    Good point, GM; why bring death into it at all? Everything I want to do, I want to do it before I die. Surely that’s just common sense?

  5. Charles

    Although the wall was a great idea and fun/interesting idea, Jonathan has unearthed a tautology here that is revealing about our attitudes towards mortality. Everything we want to do (on this planet at least, O astral travellers…) is before we die. Realising that means moving a bit further towards accepting truths about our existence.

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