On Our Denial of Death: a missing conversation

We’re all going to die; there, I said it. People spend most of their lives completely unaware of their own mortality; when an illness strikes, we impatiently wait for nature to run it’s course, and for things to go back to normal. We avoid dangerous situations, people and experiences. Mortality is like our illegitimate child; a mistake we wish would just go away. 

When someone talks about death and dying, they’re branded ‘odd’, and actively avoided. But why? Is it because we’re all deathly afraid of any mention of our own demise? Is it simply a benign cultural standard that has no real inherent significance? No matter how hard we try, we can’t change death. We can change our moral codes, our personalities and our lives, but no matter how hard we try, we cannot change death. 

I believe very few of us are truly prepared for death. And that’s a scary thought, considering it’s one of the only things we all share in common; and one of the only powerfully guiding forces in our lives. Death influences and enforces our morality; death is egalitarian. Death influences our art; it’s dynamic. And death corrupts our minds; it’s destructive. But for all the good and all the bad, we cannot escape the realism of death. Death isn’t an abstract principle subject to polarities and changes in definition; it’s final. 

 

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