On Death


Dan Mencher




It is difficult to determine whether or not death is a part of life, the reason being that death is, by definition, the ultimate form of lifelessness. However, in terms of death being a part of life as a proverb, describing death's inevitable presence, it is more a part of life than birth. For birth is uncertain; medically speaking, abortions, stillbirths, and miscarriages are always possible, and figuratively speaking, rebirths, reincarnations, and reformations always seem to occur throughout life. But death, deep, mysterious, and overbearing in its presence, is the final and ultimate ending, certain to be there as the signature "THE END" to every life story. Thus, the focus of death should not be to avoid it; such is impossible. Rather, the focus of death should be how and under what circumstances it is met. One ought not to fear death (or anything, for that matter). As I have mentioned, death is inevitable, and to fear it is futile and a waste. Instead, one should be bold about death, and though one would not be in one's right mind to seek it, one should not resist death when the time has come to take one's final breath. The fact is that one should make the most of life, for that is the most uncertain thing of all. Nobody can predict life, but everyone knows that death will come. Life is an ephemeral moment in time; it seems to pass slowly, but soon has gone by quickly. To waste it being selfish, greedy, and useless while trying to elude death is a pitiful waste indeed. For the life lived is the life chosen; death will come anyway. One who spends life improving oneself, one's environment, others' well-being, and one's society will go to one's death knowing that his or her life was worthy and will need not worry about death; one will rest in peace. The fool who has squandered life trying to prolong it will not only miss the beauty of it, but will also die a miserable death, for no matter how long the fool's life is prolonged, death will come, and the futile effort, doomed from the start, will have finally failed, making the life a waste. One should meet death face-to-face, eye-to-eye, bold, fearless, ready, and having lived a fruitful life, be able to accept, and, in a sense, look forward to a final, peaceful respite. Thus, I urge those still left alive or yet to face the uncertainty of birth to live a fruitful, productive life, free from haste and hate and full of spontaneous enjoyment. Live life by the moment, for death, already inevitable in its being, is also inevitable in its suddenness and randomness. Death is neither good nor evil, right nor wrong, passive nor aggressive, kind nor mean, gentle nor harsh, fair nor biased, harmless nor harmful. It just is, and it is final. It has no form; it doesn't need one. Everyone wants to live, but sometimes one must realize the unimportance of life itself. It becomes important only when we make it so. Life is beautiful, and often must be preserved, but the ultimate meaning of life lies in how it is executed, in both meanings of the word. Otherwise, it is incomplete and cannot as yet be called a full life. To fully carry life out, it must be ended, for immortality is merely eternal uncertainty. That is the truth.