Afraid to Die? Got 50K? 15 Ways to Leave A Legacy

If you’re afraid to die, you’re not alone. But there are ways to feel better and die without dread and regrets. Here’s how to spend $50K and leave a legacy. Existential psychologist Jason Dias lists 15 things you can buy with the money that will give your life and death some meaning. And peace.

jason-dias-anewdomainaNewDomain — Maybe you are afraid to die.

You know, we all have to one day. And you’ll lay on your deathbed, looking back at a life empty of experiences, empty of meaning, and too full of work and other unimportant crap. 

Maybe you think you’ll get a feeling of power back while you’re still alive by dominating your competitors and kicking the dog. Maybe you’ll feel powerful again and forget all about dying for now if you could do like the Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer allegedly did, bribe some corrupt rangers on a nature preserve and lure an endangered animal off the preserve. You could murder the lion, get a trophy.

None of that will make your death even a little bit easier. 

Lying on your deathbed years from now, I absofuckinglutely guarantee you that looking around your creepy-ass room at all your dead animal heads and thinking about your human trophies isn’t going to offer you one moment of solace.

But there is something you can do that will give you some piece of mind, in your final days, hours and minutes, as a living human being.

afraid to die?

The reason you need bigger and bigger thrills and kills is because your life fundamentally lacks meaning. 

Perhaps you’re an undeservedly rich loser, a feckless upper-class jerk who never did a good thing for anyone. Or maybe you’re just angry on the inside and so fearful of death that thrilling and killing is the only things that soothe you.

Either way, if you’ve got 50K burning a hole in your pocket, here’s a list of 15 things you could do with it, things that’ll make a real difference in your life and how you feel as you near death.  

Fifteen $50K Ways to Guarantee A More Peaceful Death:Afraid to die? Spend 50K. How to leave a legacy

1. Buy 10,000 pairs of sneakers wholesale. Whenever you meet someone who could use a pair, hand one over.  

2. Go to Africa. Find hungry people. You won’t even have to work hard on this one. Give the hungry people 50K. And then don’t murder any animals.

3. Hire 1,000 day laborers for a day or two. Pay each of them $50 to pick up trash around town, help old ladies across the street and do other worthwhile good deeds of your choosing.

afraid to die? how to leave a legacy

3. Buy a really nice 1988 Mercedes Benz and hire someone to drive it around town for a year. Have that driver pick up people waiting for buses or walking home with bags of groceries in their hands. Take these people wherever they need to go, in style.

4. Find a homeless family and buy them a house in Houston, Tulsa, New Hampshire or pretty much any place in Alabama. Make sure the family’s rent is paid forever. 

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5. Find a girl in the want ads of your local independent newspaper who is selling erotic body rubs. Send her to whatever college she wants to go to for as long as she wants to go there, and never let her do anything dirty to thank you.

6. Sponsor 1000 Girl Scout troops for fifty bucks each.

7. Offer 10 scholarships at $5,000 apiece and offer them to poor students who can keep a B average or higher for at least a year in high school.

8. Make 1,000 microloans for fifty bucks each.

9. Use $50K to seed a check-cashing place that charges only enough interest to stay open, instead of exploiting poor folks who can’t afford bank accounts.

afraid to die? how to leave a legacy

10. Hire a food truck to spend a year delivering healthy meals to neighborhoods without grocery stores.

11. Buy Meals on Wheels three new cars in the city or neighborhood of your choice.

12. Go to a school that’s having a bake sale to fund its music program. Tell them: “Fuck this bullshit, here’s fifty grand. I was going to kill a lion, but you guys can obviously do something better with it.”

12. Stand in a grocery store and wait until you see someone using a WIC card. Give them a stack of bills. Repeat again and again until you’re all out of bills.

13. Go to the grocery store and hang around until you spot someone putting something back because they can’t afford it. Buy it for them. Do this until you are all out of money.

14. Hire a doctor to work pro-bono in a needy neighborhood for a year.

afraid to die? how to leave a legacy with just 50K

15. Buy vacant lots in inner cities and turn them into community gardens.

When you’re dying, it will be the way you loved people that really makes a difference in how you feel about passing on, passing away. 

Nobody’s going to remember you fondly for killing lions or otherwise being nasty in revenge for your short, short life. 

But everyone is going to love you if you do it my way. This will definitely matter.

Here’s a fact that more and more research around death and dying supports: When we are on our way out, it’s the people who are able to make meaning of their lives who are ready to go. That’s called ego integrity.

People who can’t make meaning out of their lives are the ones who despair about death and truly are afraid to die.

There’s only one way to get ego integrity: You need to live generatively.

You need to have made yourself into the best person you could, and given your self away. You need to have lived for others. 

If you can’t do that, you can’t get to the life-well-lived stage. That is where you really want to be when you die. To optimize your death experience and minimize the loss, fear and regret you’ll feel, you need to be able to look back at your life with the knowledge that it was orderly and that your choices mattered. That you were able to make active decisions based on your reflections.

Really, that is the ultimate legacy. And if you have $50K to spend, you can guarantee you’ll see it and leave it.

It’s unlikely that a life so empty that it needs real or virtual lion pelts to fill it is going to qualify for an ego-integrity outcome. That’s why a privileged person so often risks dying a lonely and miserable death, one filled with regret, loss and fear.

Your death can be a good death. So take your fifty grand and do some good with it. Then you won’t be so afraid to die. Promise.

For aNewDomain, I’m Jason Dias. You’re welcome.

p.s. Here’s a look at the kind of money you’ll need:

Credits:

The 50K Video: via YouTube, All Rights Reserved. Garden image: home.destinationhackney.co.uk, All Rights Reserved; image one: Digmo-tmp.missouri.edu, All Rights Reserved;  image two: HypeFreshMag.com, All Rights Reserved; image three: PhotoGallery.classicCars.com, All Rights Reserved; image four: Realestate.Al.com, All Rights Reserved; image five: Buzzfeed.com, All Rights Reserved; image six: Watchdogwire.com, All Rights Reserved; image seven: FindAGrave.com, All Rights Reserved.

Cover image: DailyMail.co.uk, All Rights Reserved.

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About the author

Jason Dias

Jason Dias

Jason Dias, PsyD is an existential psychotherapist who breathes words. He's a senior columnist at aNewDomain.

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