On Death

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A reflection on death.

Submitted: November 06, 2017

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Submitted: November 06, 2017

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On Death

Death is something that people fear. Nobody thinks about the day they will cease thinking with a smile. People have found ways to cope with the presence of death—they choose to ignore it, they choose to embrace it, they choose to see past it, but as long as there is life, death continues to follow it around like a shadow. The problem is that death is an indiscriminate thief. We ask it to take away our enemies and it also takes away our loved ones. We ask it to spare our loved ones and we get taken instead. The reason people fear death is because it is the one unpredictable factor in a life they so desperately want to control. Or maybe it’s the other way around: people need to feel like they’re in control because the moment the charade ends, they have to face the realization that no matter what they do, death can veto their hopes and dreams before they have time to take another breath.

 

Death is inevitable. And the thing that scares us is that nothing we can achieve during our lifetimes can exempt us from it. Man’s noisy clamor for money, sex, and power is drowned out by the incessant ticking of the clock. Somewhere deep inside we know death cannot be bribed or seduced, and that the moment we die, our power dies with us. But we tell ourselves the unavoidable has to be accepted and pushed aside if we are to enjoy our lives to the fullest. So, we set off on our quest to submerge death in the mirage of worldly success. We find that pursuing pleasure is like drinking water after drinking hot sauce, it only masks the pain for a moment before it wears off, time passes, and things are worse than they started. We find that no matter how much money we make, medicine and doctors can only push back the deadline so far. No matter how many people respect us and our achievements, the power we wield at most culminates in a well-attended funeral. 

 

Death separates us from eternity. The catch is that we only have access to this side. We can synthesize, hypothesize, and philosophize what happens after death, but, of course, nobody alive can truly know. Death represents all the answers—maybe that’s why we’re so afraid of it. Wouldn't our greatest nightmare be the discovery that we utterly wasted the only 81.2 years we get on this earth? Imagine a single person crossing over the bridge and coming back to tell us what’s on the other side of the looking glass. Hard proof of our eternal reality would be the end of the religious, moral, and axiological debates people have fought over for centuries. But would we accept the answers? Maybe we have become so married to our lifestyle of instant gratification that we would reject the truth anyways, continue on with our pursuits, and accept the consequences in the end. The thing about defining death is that it forces us to define living.


© Copyright 2018 Cassie Noran. All rights reserved.

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