if-i-die-young-heres-a-message

Leave a message for your loved ones, in case you die early

On Saturday, July 28th, 2018, in an alternate dimension similar to Earth, Oz Chen died when a truck rear-ended him on the 101 freeway.

Fortunately before the incident, he already told his family and friends that should he ever die unexpectedly, that he regrets nothing.


Yes, a Ford F-150 almost rear-ended me at 80 miles per hour driving on the freeway. Luckily for me, the driver came to at the last second and swerved to the next lane, nearly crashing into someone else.

Near death experiences make me think about that one Rick and Morty Episode Rick Potion No. 9.

The grandpa-son duo ruins their Earth beyond repair and finds another dimension in which alternative versions of them just died.

rick-morty-episode-rick-potion-no-9-bury-own-bodies-dying-early-alternative-dimension
Rick & Morty burying their alternate selves in the backyard before quietly assuming their place, leaving no one but themselves with the knowledge of what has actually occurred

The family left behind on original earth overrun by mutants, will never know what happened to Rick & Morty.

This makes me think about unexpected deaths. Those left behind have it the worst. Family and friends will mourn their loved ones’ early departure.

“It was too soon.”
“She wasn’t ready.”
“He was so young.”

There’s only one thing that can make it better –

Tell your family and friends how you feel in case you die.

At first, this exercise felt not only morbid, but also selfish.

I’m assuming people will mourn my death and feel lost after.

Much of this is driven by the death of my father, who died way much too early.

I wish he left something behind for me. Some words of reassurance1.

So on the off chance that I do die unexpectedly, I want my loved ones to find solace in my words.

Specifically, a message dedicated to them.

Letter to my loved ones

Family and friends,

In case I die unexpectedly, or before my time, I want you to know that I’ve lived a full and good life.

Please don’t despair over my death.

I had the opportunity to travel the world, experience love at many levels and meet incredible humans I was fortunate enough to call friends.

In addition to the rainbow of emotions I’ve experienced, of particular note are the immense gratitude and happiness I felt during my time here.

While I might not have been ready to leave, I was glad to have lived.

Let that be of solace to anyone I’m leaving behind.

With love,

Oz

A Renewed Lease on Life

To end on a less morbid note, my near death experiences gave me a renewed lease on life.

In an alternate reality, I had died on the highway and that would’ve been the end of that timeline.

I now imagine myself now as a new Oz, continuing this timeline.

Welp, Oz v13 just died. I get to live in his place.

This is the next version of Oz who survived.

I get to play the game of life now.

And I’m glad to be playing it with you.

/ / /

What do you think of this idea?

Has a near-death experience made you re-evaluate your life and relationships with others?


  1. In the medical field, advanced directives are documents that spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. In a way, this is an emotional advanced directive that spells out how you feel about your life and death ahead of time.

Also published on Medium.

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