I want to believe there’s something beyond this life; some other dimension we’ll be transported to in order to continue existing in some form. The finality of death is a lot to contemplate. Think about all of our memories; the totality of this life we’ve lived, the sadness, the joy, the pain. To think about all we’ve learned, all we’ve shared and how much we grew as individuals. To consider the love we have both for ourselves and others as well as the enormous potential for thought and introspection. To think that this all suddenly vanishes into nothingness when our physical bodies cease to operate is depressing, to say the least. I guess I can understand why the concept of death is so unconscionable for some people that maintaining an abiding belief in a hereafter is absolutely necessary just to give life some meaning.
But what about those of us who don’t know what lies beyond this life? What about those who are certain that there’s nothing? After all, the thought of an afterlife is really a product of man’s need to sugar coat the inevitability of death. The stories of things to come give us some faint hope that this narrative will be far from finished even after our bodies have withered away and become indistinguishable from the soil that receives them.
Death, whether you believe in an afterlife or not, is a part of life. We all die eventually. It will happen with 100 percent certainty. And the more we contemplate the inevitability of death and the futility of resisting it, perhaps the true message of death is that we are alive now. Perhaps each passing consideration of death is ultimately a reminder that there is breath in our lungs today, in this moment.
The notion that life is running out, that the clock is ticking, shouldn’t cause us panic. It should give us hope that we can find the potential within us to seize every moment and to find meaning in the present and with the abundance we’ve been been so graciously given by virtue of our existence.
There will always be a sting to death. There will always be something about dying that causes us discomfort. And this is normal. We desire life. We desire the ability to witness and experience the sensations abounding in this moment. We desire the exhilaration of love and the peace of being acknowledged by others. If that does not cease when we die, we cannot know.
But ironically we often desire what we already have. The thirst to live that makes us fear death is quenched right here and right now by living.
Death may come when we’re ready or not. But life is here now. I guess the object is to want this life we already have.