The Deathbed Question

The Deathbed Question

No, you are not 30 but instead 80 and lying on your deathbed. And now you are looking back on your life…What will you think of it? What will you say to yourself? —Viktor Frankl

Hi everyone!

Welcome to our first book discussion question post! As I’ve been reading the book, I’ve stumbled upon certain quotes that really made me pause and think. I wanted to share those quotes with you so you can reflect on them as well.

So here we go! Near the end of the book, Viktor Frankl talks about a therapy session in which he poses this question to a woman. Her reply was that her “easy life full of wealth” didn’t provide her any meaning on her deathbed and she said, “I cannot see what all that was for.” She lamented not having children, which sort of gave me pause because a woman’s value or worth or meaning doesn’t have to revolve around having children, but that’s another conversation. Anyways, I digress. So, she realized that without profound love and meaning in her life, it all seemed a waste.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a really long time. Looking back on my own life, what do I want to see? And the answer every single time is: love. I want to see love. Recently, I’ve added “courage” to that list. I want to live as courageously as possible.

It’s a bit of a morbid exercise, but I think there is such incredible value in it. This question brings your values and desires to light. Don’t judge your answer—some people want to create a great work of art; some people want to love. Whatever you see, you see and it is good and it is for you alone.

My question for you is this: If you were on your deathbed, what do you want to see in your life? What do you want to look back on and see?

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