What is death?
I am not experienced enough to write on this subject so forgive me if I come across as being naive, but I would like to express my thoughts.
To me death is nothing more than change.
Some people believe that death is the end. That there is nothing after, no after life, no nothing. One just ceases to exist. This is comforting to some I think. If there is nothing after death, it doesn’t matter either way.
I agree with this in the respect that if there is nothing after death, then nothing matters. But then, if that is the case what is the point in anything? I think that it is a rather bleak outlook, to think that life, consciousness and thought disappear, like a light being switched off once the body dies. I also think that this is impossible.
In my opinion, life is energy, the same as thought, consciousness, time, matter, music, love….these are all different forms of energy.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, just changed from one form to another. We die, we change. We do not cease to exist. We just change. It is a comforting thought for me. I do not fear death.
Do not get me wrong, I am not expecting death to come calling for me anytime soon (I hope) but I will not fear it when it comes.
I will, however, fear the unknown – I think. The next moment after death. What is that? What will it bring? I had a dream once. In the dream, I was about to die, and I knew it. It was all about what the next moment would bring, to be so close to death, that just on the other side were the answers to questions that humans have asked since they could think about the future.
I was also sad in the dream, for the people that I would leave behind. For the people that I would miss.
That is the difficult thing about death. Being left behind. It is funny that the person who goes through the process directly is the one who is least affected by it.
Those of us who are left behind in my opinion never get over it. We just get used to it. It becomes part of us and part of our personalities and our being adjusts to cope. We change and become different people, sculpted by the event like any other process in life. We are ever changing. I heard someone say once that it becomes the new normal.
Will we see these people again? I would like to think so, but I’m not so sure of that. We go to a different place, maybe even to a different life. I think those people we love who have gone before us are part of us in mind and memory and always will be, so in that respect we will never be apart, but to see them again and hold their hands, look on their face? I don’t think so. It makes me sad but I think I’m ok with that.
To be by the bedside of a dying person is a powerful experience, one that I am eternally grateful to have had. It changed me, in ways I’m not entirely sure of. I know it thought me that even in the saddest, most difficult situations there can be light, happiness and fun. Fun at somebody’s death bed? Yes. Why not?
As I write this, I have no idea what point I am trying to make or even if I have a point but it is a subject that I enjoy discussing sometimes. The Irish poet John O’Donohue has very interesting things to say on the power and beauty of death. I think what I am getting at is that death is not a negative thing. At least not always or not for the person who has passed on. Again, I hope I do not seem insensitive or naive; I am just trying to put my experience and interpretations out there. The pain and loneliness of those who are left behind can be crippling, but it can also form a powerful connection, an unbreakable bond with those who have shared the experience.
I am especially interested in your thoughts on this one.