A Short Essay on Death and Dying

A Beutiful Cemetary. The 'Cycle of Life' allows dead creatures to become part of the earth. It's we who put up the monuments

Cemetaries are made for visitors.  The earthly remains don't care, can't care, about where they lie.   It's we who so often believe that  inanimate objects care about such things.   You know the sort of thing: "He won't rest until..."
Cemetaries are made for visitors. The earthly remains don't care, can't care, about where they lie. It's we who so often believe that inanimate objects care about such things. You know the sort of thing: "He won't rest until..."

Welcome to A Short Essay on Death and Dying.

Imagine that you are now well over ninety years of age; the time for passing from this life has come; you lie in bed waiting for the inevitable. You’re not drugged. There is no pain. Your mind is clear, and your memory takes you back over the lifetime you’ve led. What would be of importance then? What would come up? Where and to what would your attention go? For those moments before we die – assuming we’re not in trauma – are peaceful enough once we accept. And accept we must, for we can do nothing else.

 

The Agnostic keeps an open mind.

The atheist thinks that consciousness will stop, perhaps darkness will descend, and there will be no more. Providing he or she can accept that there is no drama. The agnostic keeps an open mind, he or she might attempt to stay alert to see just what happens in this moment of transition. Will it result in nothingness? void? oblivion? And the real believer will await, perhaps with some trepidation, to the anxiety of being judged and perhaps found wanting. It would all depend, of course, upon those religious beliefs.

A Short Essay on Death and Dying.

But what are beliefs except concepts in the mind; concepts that have solidified to the extent that the change in them is almost static. You could say they are ideas carved into stone. But if our mind is in our brain and our brain will disintegrate and go back to the dust from whence it came, what happens to the beliefs? Such thoughts might well go through the mirror of consciousness as we lie there on our deathbed.

A Typical Christian War Cemetary beautifully kept.

It didn't matter if you were an athiest, agnostic  or believer; Gentile, Jew or Callathumpian - you still got a cross.  Seems heaven is multi-cultural.
It didn't matter if you were an athiest, agnostic or believer; Gentile, Jew or Callathumpian - you still got a cross. Seems heaven is multi-cultural.

Two out of three don't remember a thing - but what about that third person?

There are some statitics that show that roughly one out of three who have a near death experience (NDE) and ‘die temporarily’ do experience all manner of strange goings on: the bright light, the seeing of old friends, et cetera. But two out of three come back to say that in the ‘death situation’ there is nothing. They have no memory of anything. But then again, this is often the case when we wake up in the morning after a sound sleep. It proves nothing.

Our whole lives flash before our eyes.

It has often been said that when we are in a life-and-death situation that our whole lives flash before our eyes. We see it as it is, and as it was. Well, perhaps not our whole lives, but certainly the significant parts of it. But what would arise at that time as being significant? Would it be how important we became? Would being a celebrity be important then? Would our consciousness be drawn to how much money we made? Or how many brand new BMW cars we owned over our ninety plus years? I rather suspect not.

Bomana War Cemetary, Owen Stanley Mountains, Papua-New Guinea.

I visited this place in 1965.  My thoughts at the time: "What the hell was it all for?   We were all friends again...people buying Japanese cars and electronic goods.  Yep, what the hell was it all for?...
I visited this place in 1965. My thoughts at the time: "What the hell was it all for? We were all friends again...people buying Japanese cars and electronic goods. Yep, what the hell was it all for?...

A Short Essay on Death and Dying.

As it was, I did get our of my predicament. I did survive. Whether I really learned my lesson I cannot say. I went back pretty well much to being the same sort of person I was before, except now I had the knowledge that imminent and impending death can be faced without the terror some might expect. It wasn’t so bad after all.

Live a loving life.

So what is the point of this hub? And will the point of it make any difference at all to those who read it? Well, I like to think with some it will. Others it will not. We have to accept the fact that we cannot motivate or influence everybody. But we can motivate those who are ready for it. So my message is: Love yourself. Love those who are closest to you. And, if your can, love as many people as you can. And live a loving life. Take loving actions. For it is the actions you take – not simply you thoughts about people – that are likely to be your last thoughts as the life that you are leaves its worn out shell to return home from when it came.

I hope you enjoyed A Short Essay on Death and Dying.

Take care...

11 comments

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

You raise many valid points here, Tom. Great truth. What will we consider of importance as we leave life behind? Will we dwell on regrets, or our small triumphs, mourn lessons learned too late, rejoice in our own growth...? Good hub. Rated up. Lynda


Tusitala Tom profile image

Tusitala Tom 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

You spoil me, Lynda; always such praise. I love it, of course. But you'e no slouch yourself when it comes to writing moving stuff.

Thank you. Keep writing.

Tom.


Seakay profile image

Seakay 5 years ago from Florida

Good hub! Living a good life and loving what your are doing helps. Be kind and enjoy life!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Great hub! I read a book, called "Life After Life", and it was a collection of people with near-death experiences, who "came back" and then shared what they found. Some experiences were common to many, including the tunnel with the light, and a feeling of peace, happiness, joy...others, as you said, experienced nothingness, or nothing they could remember.

We tend to try to put out of your minds the fact that every single one of us is a mortal being and will eventually die. It's better to keep this in mind, though not morbidly, as we live out our lives, because we might stick to our true priorities better, and maybe be more loving and kind.


WTD89 5 years ago

All consciousness departs eventually to the place from whence it came - OBLIVION - So obvious, it should really not have to be stated.

Spiritual Futures are nothing but pure self-indulgent fantasy to which the Human mind is very prone. Our chance to appreciate this Wonderful World lasts but a very short time. Each one of us is unique.

When we depart this life, we won't be back. Our experiences & thoughts are passed on to future generations. Evolution continues.

http://www.absurdbelief.info


Tusitala Tom profile image

Tusitala Tom 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

I can only wonder as to the motive behind WTD89's comment. I leave it in because it's a valid belief. But it is just that: a belief, just as those who believe otherwise have different ones.

If life's departure form our physical means oblivion, nothingness, so be it. There's therefore nothing to worry about. But if it doesn't...well...

As for me, I KNOW the real me is the observing, immortal consciouness behind it all. And as I've said before, there is one helluva difference between believing and knowing.


WTD89 5 years ago

Tom - My thoughts go a lot deeper than any superficial 'belief'. The experience of a long life - 90 years of it - using the basic common sense that we ALL need & use to get by, leaves me in no doubt that transcendental thoughts are just that. Repeat - this brain of ours is capable of imagining ANYTHING. We must be pragmatic & try to discriminate between fact & fantasy.

As far as we can tell, our uniqueness is definite. We know not from whence we came. Every one of the minds that have existed in the past or due to exist in the future have been & will be a one-off. That covers ALL forms of life.

Whether probing the Atom or 'Heavenly' Space, we are contemplating INFINITIES. Our search for the ultimate understanding of inner & outer immensities will NEVER be grasped by the Human mind, no matter how hard we try. However, the nature of consciousness is that that fact will never stop us from trying.

Tom, I’m afraid you’re allowing sentiment to take precedence over common sense.

http://www.absurdbelief.info


Tusitala Tom profile image

Tusitala Tom 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

I appreciate your sagacity,WTD89; your physical body has been renewing its molecular structure for fifteen years longer than mine. However, when you have actually experienced an epithany you know. It is not an intellectual understanding, it is not logically deduced by dint of concentration. It is not 'of the brain.'

'Basic common sense' has been found wanting so often. "You can't send messages beyond human line of sight," was basic common sense prior to the advent of wireless.

I'm sure I'll never convince you. Nor you, me. So we might as well let it rest.


WTD89 5 years ago

Tom – I can’t let your statements go without comment.

*** Basic common sense has been found wanting so often. “You can’t send messages beyond human line of sight” was basic common sense before the advent of Wireless. ***

We must surely realise by now that everything around us undergoes change, including common sense. Evolution involves everything. Since the beginning, curiosity has directed the common sense of Mankind to gradually get to grips with the workings of this Wonderful World. As the basic tool of science, it is inevtably revealing nature’s hidden secrets. Your quote above seems a rather lame attempt at deprecation of the common sense we ALL need & use every moment of our lives.

At the time relevant, I can appreciate the above quote as coming more from a member of the religious community rather than a person of ‘normal’ status.

The Quantum aspects of the World poses much deeper questions re common sense but the pragmatic World in which we dwell must require the need to use logic right to the end. NO ONE can manage without it.

If an Epiphany is not deduced by brain or mind, by what ‘sense’ do you appreciate it. Have you some extra-sensory power that I do not possess?

I would suggest sir that you have merely suffered some brief mental re-arrangement of brain structure which, coupled with religious upbringing, has resulted in this revelatory fantasy.

Sorry Tom, Logic is my game. That’s why I’ve lasted so long, despite long-term difficulties.


Tusitala Tom profile image

Tusitala Tom 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Logic is your game, WTD89. I'll concede you've probably got a 'better brain' and a 'higher IQ.' However, WTD89, I DO have some extra sensory power that it appears you do not possess. Discovered it and have been able to use if for over forty years. However, I suspect that whatever I said to you would be regarded as coming from my delusions.

Let is rest WTD89. If there is no afterlife then neither of us has a care in the world - that world. If there is...well...maybe I'll see you there.


WTD89 5 years ago

Tom – I don’t possess a big head. Never had my IQ tested but I think it much more likely to be under average than over.

The raw beginnings of Religiosity & it’s continuance does not require any great mental ability to understand.

I do hope that this comment is posted.

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