Meditating on Death Five Times a Day—It’s Morbidly Delicious

Hey, don’t forget you’re going to die...

By Sophie Tiahnybik

I croak, you croak, WE CROAK. In other words, I shall die, you shall die, WE ALL ARE GOING TO DIE. Just a friendly reminder—the fate of all our hearts stopping in our own unique way is real. Very real. A concept that we far too often push deep down within ourselves. However, the reality of life is that we die at the end. So maybe it’s ok if we think about it. Five times a day is best, probably. 

In accordance with bhutanese practices, the concept of the app, WeCroak, revolves around the idea that one must meditate on the idea of death at least five times a day to achieve happiness.  The app drops you little notifications throughout the day (from about 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., so no midnight meditations) Each alert invites you to take a look at a hand-picked quote, to take time and reflect on the impermanence of our existence. An idea so radical, it’s brilliant?

While death reigns as the central theme, the idea of impermanence glimmered most. The idea that everything is fleeting—our bodies, our memories, our possessions, our thoughts. Everything we are in a moment can flutter away in an instant. As a result, we constantly change and weave our ways through life, never living the same day twice. Fatefully so, one day, all of those lived moments come to an end. WeCroak invites you to meditate on the fact that death is always with us, rather than reserved for those who are grey and grizzled. 

The first quote I received this week was, “You have to be real with yourself. No one is going to do that. People are too concerned with making everything look nice and calm and pretty. —Donald Glover.” Embracing the impossibility and foolishness of making everything appear pretty seemed perfect for embracing the idea of morbidly meditating five times a day. Maybe we should accept the things that come, without fear of what it looks like to someone else. Embracing the wickedness of our lives, and maybe learning how fearlessly, beautiful those flaws are. 

For me, death has never been too foreign; rather, it has been deeply rooted in my life. Not to say my favorite creature is the Grimm Reaper—it’s not. However, growing up in the Catholic Church, death came up in a lot of conversations. For example, the holy day known as Ash Wednesday, was quite the morbid holiday. Ashes from palm leaves are rubbed on one’s forehead while someone says, “Dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” While maybe I didn’t think about death five times a day, it was evident from a young age that I wasn’t going to be living forever. Unknown territory is terrifying if we allow it to have such power. Paris Hilton wasn’t wrong in saying, “My biggest fear is to die because I have no idea what happens after, and I’m really scared it’s nothing because that would be beyond boring.” I also don’t really know, but at least I know I will probably turn to dust. 

This became more apparent in high school, as I had this thread of dreams where the world ended or I died. Each dream was incredibly vivid, everytime the year read, 2029. Fittingly, my insta bio now reads 1999–2029. I’ve found myself dreaming about funerals over weddings. So, the concept of death has always been intriguing rather than scary. I think it allows me to live more freely when I know that death is rooted within all of us. When I heard about the app, WeCroak, my thoughts were something like, “Hallelujah, someone thinks like me! It’s morbidly delicious! Genius!” I was insanely stoked to have something that allowed me to channel all these morbid thoughts into something productive and positive. 

Sure, perhaps downloading the WeCroak app isn’t for anyone. It is 99 cents (hefty commitment). That doesn’t mean spending time meditating on death’s inevitability can bring benefits and open our eyes to beauty in our fleeting time here on earth. So please, don’t forget, you are going to die. 

“In a way, you’ve already won in this world because you're the only one who can be you.”

 —Fred Rogers 

Wake Mag