What if the 'Reaper's' not grim at all?
- Climate change?
- Beaking wind in public?
- That you’ll never catch up with those episodes of Lost that you missed?
Life on this planet can be a formidable challenge, even in good times. And fear is an element that dominates life so profoundly that some people are rendered immobile, and sometimes even invalided by their overweening sense of doom and destruction. Not that there is anything wrong with a slight sense of doom and destruction – it tends to keep us from making bonehead decisions. It’s all a matter of fight-or-flight survival.
But, at the end of the day, despite all our conglomeration of fears both big and small, there is one fear that overrides all others. Indeed, some schools of psychiatric theorizing maintain that ‘all’ fear boils down to one thing – fear of death!
Even our tiniest elements of trepidation ultimately flow through and pick bits of refuse along the way until they become cluttered with conditions that become increasingly life-threatening.
Death comes to us all and, no matter how much we might try to protest to the contrary, it scares the bejesus out of us. No matter how spiritually attuned we are, no matter how churchy we might be, it’s the end of that long and winding road that invariably gives even the strongest pause. We hesitate and are gripped with negativity because we don’t know what it looks like. Myth or even ‘belief’ to the contrary, nobody has really come back, as far as we know.
This blog was not prompted by the recent death of a friend, I’d actually begun it a couple of weeks ago. Mind you, his demise adds a certain poignancy to it all.
Nor is the blog intended to be dreary and depressing. Come to think of it, why do we consider death a depressing thing? Of course we miss those we love, but in a broader sense, why is it a depressing thing? I mean it happens to absolutely everyone, sort of like adolescent zits.
We find it depressing because we don’t understand what it is. I mean, we absolutely don’t understand what it is other than the cessation of life.
So, during our lives, and out of fear, we endeavor to keep death at bay. Sometimes we do it in inappropriate ways, like lots of boozing and doping and screwing and overworking and watching American Idol. Or, we do it in ways that we think are wiser, like taking real good care of our health and cutting back or eliminating our bad habits and watching PBS. Or, we pray our fool heads off thinking God will intervene and give us an understanding. Some even attest they have gotten that message. Maybe they have, but they’re still frightened, I've noticed.
So, that junkie or street rummy who keeps indulging in practices that will guarantee an early demise, why do they do it? Because, ironically, they’re afraid of dying.
I have no answers here. If I had, then it would mean I’d solved one of the universe’s great mysteries. It's not referred to as the 'Great Unknown' for no reason.
The only thing I can say is that as your cat or dog ages, that pet never thinks about death, nor is it afraid. The fools. Too bad they're not smart like we are.