THEY say life is a mystery to be solved, a riddle, the ultimate puzzle that can only be deciphered by living it. For centuries, writers and poets have written loads of literary pieces, not just to celebrate life, but to mystify the human experience called, “existence”. For realists, most of these propositions tend to disguise the most important part of life: Death.
Others say life is really simple; you‘re born, you live, and then ultimately, you die. Death, as a subject, has been always avoided, not just by writers (with the exception of a few), but nearly every soul you want to talk it with. None of us seems psychologically ready to the idea of “permanent unconsciousness” and non-existence, whether to others or to ourselves. We always seem to deny the condition of being lost to nothingness and its chilling grip that haunts our mortal thoughts. The idea is simply, terrifying and different from the day to day events that we are used to face. Death’s reality has inspired methods that would help us cope with the anxiety and fear that it arouse. We disguise its power through mystification, religion, jokes and euphemisms such that we forget about its terror; much like hiding from the face of a monster. “We hide our eyes from its glares, but still we spread our fingers just a bit, because there’s just something in us that really can’t resist a peek”.
Perhaps, "death" is never the other side of life as others claim; it is actually part of life that everyone will go through. The truth is, despite our faith, nobody knows what lies there; whether there is an after-life as they call it, or maybe nothing, but an empty vacuum. See, what scares us is our weakness and inability to know – our “innate fear of the unknown”. Naturally, we try to conceal its presence and live our life as though we can live forever.
I have nothing against the conformist view of life and death. A few books we have read regarding this have boldly inspired us to come to terms with such idea. The lesson is perhaps our obvious conceitedness even with our mortality; “we have successfully reached the moon but have never visited our closest neighbor”, “we have made a lot of discoveries but have not discovered the secret to happiness”, “we have advanced technologically but have moved backward without our values”, indeed, we have forgotten the only thing that can humble us – death.
Just like most of us, I have my own experience watching a person you know or even you’re close with disappear from the face of the earth – acquaintances, friends, grandparents…even my father. It hurts and will hurt for a long time. It takes so much to realize that it is the nature of life that we must accept. I wrote about death not to scare anyone, but to remind us once more of studying how we have been living this temporary state. Maybe, we have all been caught with that false and tempting promise of this material world – we have become soaked with vanity and triviality as if death is not looming in the corners. Perhaps, I wrote this for us to stop for a while and think about our lives and how we make every second valuable; after all, life is so short.