Death is Not an Event in Life

Death is not an event in life. Not only can you not experience the deaths of others, but you can’t even experience your own death. As Epicurus put it, “when you are, death is not; when death is, you are not.” In death, the brain’s functioning completely ceases. There is no awareness of any aspect of your body or mind at all.

If someone were to put a gun to my head now, I’d worry more about the prospect of not being able to continue my life and complete the things I had planned than about the obliteration of my human existence.

Each day is a life in miniature; in a day as in a life time, we awake in the world, spend some time here, and then pass into darkness. Just as we often do not accomplish all that we plan to achieve in a day, so can we fail to accomplish all we had planned for a lifetime. Our possibilities are endless, but our actualities very few.

I’m at peace with this fact. My attitude is: “I’ll do what I can.” Each moment of life and each experience, however blissful or tragic, is an indescribable wonder of inestimable value. That I lived through today, I am grateful; that I may llve to see tomorrow, I am hopeful. But my life is a mere wave in the current of being and should it reach its crest and fall back into the seamless whole from which it came tonight, that would be just fine.


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