Is There Life Before Death? (or what, when, where, who are you waiting for before you start living?) This week’s “Coffee with Colm”​

I’m not a poetry buff, never was.

But for some reason I read a poem by the late, great Poet Laureate, Seamus Heaney (1939 – 2013) during the week.

I assume it landed on my feed because of some algorithm that ‘saw’ I was discussing the tragic death of young Lyra McKee last week, and the piece, entitled “Whatever You Say, Say Nothing” is penned by Heaney, himself from the north of our island. In it he speaks of the ‘Troubles’ and the impact (apart from the obvious) that period exerted on the population, regardless of the individual’s political or religious persuasion. People learned to keep their mouths shut – whatever you say, say nothing.

In the final part of a four-part poem, one line caught my eye; “Is there a life before death?”

Good question. Is there? Life before death?

So I decided to go for a walk amuigh faoin spéir, (outside under the sky), cois Sionna (by the majestic River Shannon) to consider the question and find some answers.

To find out what I came up with, watch the 3-min video, listen to the 3-min podcast, or read on below…

Many of us are more familiar with asking a similar question, but about the other side of the ‘curtain’ – is there life after death? This week, I am not concerning myself with that question except to say I have decided to believe (think about those three words together when you get time), yes, I have decided to believe that we are spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience.

But is there life before death?

Well, that depends. You see, the only truly irreplaceable, non-renewable resource available to you and I is time. We can get more money, we can’t magic up one nano second of time to extend our stay here.

So, the question is, are you looking after yourself while you are here? Are you giving you enough time? Do you POYOOMF? – do you Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First?

You see if you don’t look after you and create the life you really want for you, who will?

Three questions:

  1. If not you, who?
  2. If not now, when?
  3. If not here, where?

These are the questions I am asking of myself, and you, in this week’s “Coffee with Colm”.

They say, the only two sure things in life are death and taxes, yet we are all aware that sufficient loopholes exist to allow certain ‘cleverer than you and me’ people avoid tax (for clarity tax avoidance is legal, evasion is not) but I have yet to meet the man (or woman) that has avoided (or even evaded!) death!

Is there life for you today, before death?

Are you just getting up every day, going to the office, making it happen, “crushing it?” (God, I hate that phrase) to make an extra few bob? Are you? At the expense of what? At the expense of your life, that’s all… because your life is made up of, eh… time and experiences.

If I offered you a million euro, but asked for your two eyes in return, would you do a deal with me? Or what about one of your children instead?  I hope you would slap me for asking – I assume the answer would be an unequivocal no! (although -humorous aside – some of you may be thinking, ‘Hmmm… depends on which child!’ 🙂 )

My friend, in this next week give yourself some you time. Get some fresh air, get some r&r, try to shut out the noise of this crazy world we live in just for a few minutes each day and ask for yourself, “Is there a life before death?” I hope you find out there is. And if you don’t I hope this starts you off on your quest to find a life before death.


Thanks for thinking with me.

Yours truly.


Watch | Listen | Read | Think.

Did you enjoy that? Fancy a sip of some of my recent “Coffee with Colm” Blog posts:

  • She was 8 when the Good Friday was signed. On its 21st anniversary, Lyra was murdered. What now? Click here.
  • When was the last time you waved at a passing train or speeding, lights flashing, sirens blaring fire-engine? Why so long ago? Click here.
  • Dr. Sinead Kane’s Interview: Part 3. Sinead has “Coffee with Colm” in Bewley’s Café on Grafton St. Dublin – click here.

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