Fear Not Death
Life: the time it takes to get from birth to death.
Death: the moment we are born evading.
Death is the villain in every life’s story. Before it has claimed us as just another victim it has taken several of the people, pets, and plants we’ve loved. It isn’t surprising that we tend to avoid all places where Death is present or impending. Cemeteries are frightening, hell, even abandoned buildings are terrifying. We keep ourselves busy so we don’t have to think about our impermanence. As though we are distracting ourselves from the reality of the inevitable.
We’ve even cast aside our elders and their accumulated knowledge, allowing their ideas and solutions to die with them. We exile the people we find unfit to participate in society: be they mentally unmatched for the current societal responsibilities or psychologically abused to the point of oblivion from where we are standing as a collective. We lock them up in institutions so they don’t cloud our shared vision of a Utopia.
We have built complex systems around not looking at decay. From landfills to sewer systems, our waste is carried off somewhere else for someone else to deal with. Out of sight, out of mind. Virtually non-existent. Only, we can’t hide from it forever. Sooner or later all that built up, unobserved disgust will rear its ugly head for all to see. We may pretend to be shocked or embarrassed, but we’ve known all along it wouldn’t just magically disappear. All because of an ideal for how we should act in polite society. Polite society that conveniently ignores the truth.
The truth is: all that exists in the moment is distracting us from Death. We can do with that information, whatever we choose. I personally find that the more familiar I become with Death (or the spiritual/thought realm as I’ve come to affectionately refer to it), the less I fear it. (I should add, it takes a period of sitting in fear to realize there’s less to be afraid of [in most cases] than I’d originally thought). The more comfortable I am with being in its presence, the more I am able to enjoy the time I have left in life, free of worry from what I know will one day be my last experience.
It is my belief that if more people would observe Death, it would be less frightening. We may even have a better relationship with it because we may even understand it better.