Death is a truth of life which, the sooner you get used to, the better. Unfortunately, you never truly get used to it. Try as you might, you just don’t. Not even when life keeps forcing it upon you again and again. We all appreciate the miracle of birth, it’s the beauty of life, it’s a sign of hope, of a new beginning. And what does death signify? The end. No matter how much the Egyptians tried to convince us about the journey we undertake once we leave this world, we will never accept it because we just haven’t seen it. Being human, we want a visual reassurance.
Maybe it’s not death that we fear, but the uncertainty, the feeling of not knowing. It’s the same as darkness, you’d don’t fear darkness, but the feeling of not knowing what lurks in the dark. Add to that the theories of heaven and hell that haunt our every waking moment, it’s no wonder that we fear it. The possibility that you could end up in Hell, in the “Satan’s frying pan”, or that you’d end up alone in Heaven ( come on, you know you’ve thought about it).
Perhaps it’s not just the fear of the unknown but the fear of loneliness, the fact that we’re alone in death. The fact that we avoid facing all through our lives by surrounding ourselves with friends and family and eventually having to face the same which eats away at us. May be it’s the years we’ll never have or the things we never got around to doing, maybe regret also gnaws at us in some corner of our being.
May be it’s the sadness caused by the absence of person, the guilt and pain of still living on, even after the person is gone that mingles with the feelings that remain. The guilt of the fading memories, of going on with life that rots a part of us just like the decaying body of the person. And we carry the putrid stench of the death with us throughout our life. It becomes a part of us. Neither letting us forget nor letting us remember, slowing snuffing out our being.
For me, death is something I never get used to. It’s a concept which has haunted me throughout my childhood and something that I’ve carried with me into my adult life. I have never been able to wrap my head around it. Physically, I get it. The body like any machine, gets worn out with time and eventually expires. But we’re not just our body. We’re more than just flesh and bones. We’re memories, thoughts, ideas and feelings. They’re not things which expire or cease to exist. Yes they live in people who are attached to them but memories fade, thoughts forgotten, ideas age and feelings, well I don’t really know what happens to feelings. And I think, therein lies my difficulties. No matter how I look at it, it still remains a mystery. But if I were to figure it out, would I then get used to the idea?
I know death will come to me eventually. And it’s not something I seek to avoid. Although, I don’t think there will be enough of me to die when death finally comes. For, as long as I live and those around me die, I die a slow and painful death myself. Compared to that, death would be deliverance.