May 25, 2007

On Death

Death is inevitable. Sooner or later it will come, and most likely when it comes we will not be ready for it, and want it to go away and let us live a little bit more. But Death, the cruel heart that it is, will not listen.

I have often wondered what the worst way to die would be. I am not suicidal or depressed in any way, but I do wonder about death every now and then. One of the things about death that intrigues me is this: If I were to choose my own death how would it be?

One way that instantly comes to mind is to a soldier’s death on the battle front. But, I am not in the army, nor do I think I ever stand a chance of being in the army, so that is not an option. So, the next best way is to meet death in the process of attempting to save someone’s life from a raging fire or a falling building or something like that.

Then again, what is the worst way to die? I have found the best answer to this question in a book by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The worst death, he says, is that of the prisoner who has been awarded capital punishment. There is no hope for him. He knows that on a given date, at a given time death will come to get him, and he will have to go. Whereas, in every other case the person has hope till the very last moment. A soldier going to war isn’t going to war thinking of death but thinking of what he is leaving behind. A man with terminal disease hopes that some doctor will find a cure and save him. And so do most people hope to live till the very moment death comes, but if you are given a set time when death will come to you, what can you do but sit down and wait for it.

4 comments:

Sandy Carlson said...

Dostoyevsky had some dark days! I think accepting the inevitability of death means making the most of what I'm doing right now. Around these parts, most folks say they would not like to die as a burden to their families. Interesting. As we stretch out our lifespans, the prospect of spending years incapacitated and dependent becomes our worst nightmare.

billy jacks said...

Hey neo... I've been trying to post comments for a bit now. Apparently blogger hates me.

Something about "can not process request" blah blah or something like that.

Of course, now that I type a message about not being able to comment, I'm sure this one will finally go through.

Blue Panther said...

Sandy : Very truly said. When we think of being alive we always think of being healthy and up and about.

Billy Jacks: LOL, It did indeed come through this time.

stev said...

but maybe if you know that that is the path you must take then we wont worry about other steps anymore but start moving towards preparation for the known inevitability

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