Thoughts about Death
Life is a thousand deaths.
Deaths of pets and loved ones.
The death of friends.
Then, there are frivolous deaths.
The death of a perky butt.
The death of brown hair.
The death of size three (this died a long time ago.)
The death of a young face,
The death of goals.
The death in the belief that anything is possible.
Deaths of ideas.
Deaths that hit you like a semi truck and change you forever.
We must go through 10,000 deaths before our real death.
Death of being single
Death of being in relationships
Death of running…biking…sex…driving…hearing…seeing….thinking.
Don’t forget the deaths of things that never were.
The death of dreams.
The team you never made.
The love that was unrequited.
The people you never met.
The party you were never invited to.
The choices we never made.
All the opportunities we had, or didn’t have,
Or didn’t even know we wanted.
All of this makes me profoundly sad.
We must be battle hardened against the grief of constant loss.
There are new things…
children (for some people)
Careers (for some people)
Trips (for me)
New cars or homes
…interludes and distractions on the way to the grave.
More dying things to populate our lives for a while.
Then, the grave.
Beyond the grave there is death.
There is the death of your memory and your name
As you are forgotten by time and buried deeper by more deaths.
It sounds depressing. But, these are the thoughts that haunt me each day.
The cure seems to be to pursue life with zeal.
But, chasing life is as childish as a kid who runs after the moon, thinking one day
They will catch it.
The moon is always just one step ahead in the sky.
In the end, it is exhausting…and you end up as empty handed as when the chase began.
Maybe religion is balm for the pain of living in death.
I used to tell religious people that I don’t want to live forever.
I could bravely face the world without the comfort of eternal life.
I can…and I do…but not bravely.
I am not too smart, cool, or stubborn for religion.
But, it will simply never ring true to me.
It will always seem like stories.
It will always be a pretty idea to blot out the horror of our
There are other things. Some people have children-to pass on their name,
Values, and memories.
I can believe in children more than Bibles.
But, children devour life.
They devour identity.
Parents must sacrifice themselves on the altar of a new generation.
They become soccer moms.
Or, they become impoverished.
Marriages, time, hobbies, interests, a good night of sleep…
All of these are taken greedily by children
Who eat up the sacrifices with endless hunger and energy.
They are little destroyers…little Quetzalcoatls and Shivas
New generations eat the blood, sweat, and tears of the old.
Some children return the favor
They honor the memory, beliefs, and traditions of their parents.
But, others run away and exert their existence in wild and unpredictable ways.
I should know. I am one of the feral and thankless ones.
I have seen friends grow up and move on.
I see the world move around me.
Each revolution around the sun brings more age, more loss, more changes…
And more sadness to be buried under the hobbies, work, activism, travel, fitness, friends, and other things that make the relentless march of things that fill up the void.
I wish I could extol the virtues of aging-but really, I think we are dancing.
We are dancing in a frenzy-like in the Rite of Spring.
We are dancing to forget.
We are dancing by shopping, drinking, watching TV, eating, running, vacationing, breeding, working…
Sometimes we dance together.
Whatever it takes to make us forget that we are dancing to our deaths.