Everybody Dies

It’s an inevitable truth that everybody dies. We don’t all go in the same way. Not all of us get to live long enough. Too many of us die before our time. I say us, because humanity is a species, a world-wide animal that has taken over this planet. Doesn’t matter what you believe – in Darwin’s theories of evolution or in God creating the world in six days or the hundred other explanations people have to figure out how we got here. It doesn’t really matter why we’re here. Only that we are. And that we all die.

Some people believe in a beyond –  a heaven or a hell or something in between. Some believe that we’re all born again into a new body after we die. Some of us believe that there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, that dying is the simple end of life itself, with nothing further. Once again, it doesn’t really matter what we believe about what happens after death. Some of us may take comfort in knowing that there’s a better place that we go to. But some, maybe even many, would rather keep going with their lives as long as they can without finding out what’s awaiting.

Everybody dies. Yes. It’s a simple truth. Death is portrayed as a dark angel, a hooded figure with a sickle, a looming darkness, a white light, a sense of peace… None of us will know what death is until it happens to us. The only thing I can imagine about death is silence. Absolute silence. So still, so extremely quiet, that it’s deafening.

Why does everybody die? It’s the simple cycle of nature, or God, or Gods – whatever and whomever you want to attribute it to. Some people believe there’s a reason – a sin, or a mistake, or something that needs punishing. Some people believe there’s a reason – that a person is too good to live in this world of fear and darkness. Some people simply believe there are no reasons.

The problem is, until now, this looks like a depressing, rather scattered article about death. But is it? Really? Isn’t knowing that death is inevitable freeing somehow? It can let us live without fear, without the constant gnawing pangs of worry over what might happen to us when we fly, or cross the road, or have a surgery. I can’t say that knowing that death is waiting for us all helps when someone we love dies. It doesn’t help then, and won’t ever, because losing someone is more difficult than losing oneself, or most always is.

But in terms of each of our own personal lives – there’s a freedom to being aware of the simple truth that humans, just like all other animals, procreate and then die, leaving the world to become, hopefully, a better place.

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9 thoughts on “Everybody Dies

  1. Erin M says:

    Interesting post. The last paragraph reminds me of one of my favourite movies (uhm, most of my favourite movies are about death? a teeny bit obsessed? naturally) . . . anyway, it’s called The Hit, and there’s a quote from it that goes, “We’re here, and then we’re not here. We’re somewhere else — maybe. And it’s as natural as breathing. Why should we be scared?”

    Unrelated to the movie . . . I like the idea of reincarnation. It’s not what I believe in, but I like it. It seems to work its way into a lot of my stories, in one way or another.

  2. Odd timing with this post. Today, Ronnie James Dio died of stomach cancer, as well as an acquaintance’s father (not of stomach cancer, that I know of. All the details haven’t been released yet).

    I agree that accepting death as an inevitability is freeing, but I don’t think that accepting that inevitability has to take away the fear of death completely. I have no fear of dying or of what lies beyond that moment when my heart stops, at least not for myself. I fear the immediate after effects for my family and friends that I leave behind, even in knowing they’ll move on eventually.

    Reincarnation is a hope of mine, but I can’t say I hold much stock in the idea. I’ll find out eventually, I guess. Lol.

    Good post. Sad, though.

  3. When I was younger, I used to believe that people feared dying because of selfishness, a need to live forever. That may be true for some, but, now that I’m older, I believe the real reason is love for our children and those around us whom we love. I have a dread of becoming ill before my daughter is an adult. I dread leaving her and her mother alone. It’s not that I have some great power to shield them from harm-I know they will continue, but the certainly being around helps. I also believe that once my daughter is grown the next stage of life is embracing the inevitable and enjoying my days as well as those days after. Like birth, I see death as natural and therefore good. You’re right, it is liberating to accept. But like most liberating knowledge, it is sometimes difficult to understand.

    One last thing. Vladimir Nabokov always had a wonderful idea about existance:

    “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for (at some forty-five hundred heartbeats an hour).”

    Knowing I’ve been there before, that we all have been there before, makes death a little more palatable.

  4. unabridgedgirl says:

    Dealing with a friend’s upcoming death (cancer), it is interesting to read this post, and reflect on what I believe. Not just what I believe, but why I believe it. I often think the why is more important than just the believing itself.

    Thanks, Em.

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