The Terrifying Thought of Death
What is Death?
What do we know about death for certain? We as humans know we will all die someday, our lives coming to a complete halt whether it be naturally or done by some outside force. All we know for certain is that we will all die unless some sort of technology pops up that helps us become immortal. After the ever-looming fear of getting older and watching my youth and childhood become a thing of the past ,as well as watching by beloved pet Coal die in front of me, I have become obsessed with death and the thought of dying. Many ideas pop into my head but what do they mean?
Death as I Know It...
I have thought about this since I was a teenager, but on occasion and it didn't affect my life. Now since turning 25 it's all I can think about during the day, before I go to sleep, and the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning. I think to myself constantly "what is my purpose?" "We are all going to die, everything I know will cease to exist." "Why am I stuck doing the same thing every day when I don't have much time to enjoy life?!" We as humans compared to other organisms don't live long on Earth. People live to various ages, but not many seem to cap the century mark. Say the average person lives to be about 80 years of age, in the grand spectrum of time that's barely a blink of an eye. Many might say "You're only 25! You have a long time to go before you think about death!" But in reality it's not a lot of time.
I look at trees, the grass, the ocean, even buildings and I'm terrified to see that one day these things won't be here anymore. In 1 to 2 billion years our sun will burn out and engulf the Earth, once again transposing it to nothing but dust and heat. Everything as we know it will be utterly destroyed. Yes all of us today, our children, even our legacy 100,000 years form now will probably be dead and we don't have to worry about it. But just the thought of it is beyond comprehension scary.
With the little amount of time we have it my own mind shouldn't be eaten up by these terrible thoughts. We as humans have so much in the world going on like politics, war, mortgages, accounting, complicated business practices, it's just all too much! We have so little time on this Earth that we're worried about escrow accounts, who's the right politician, and the next paper due for class? We are the only organisms on this planet that pay to live here, which is stupid! Plain and simple stupid! We literally need to stop and smell the roses, climb mountains, explore other cultures and countries, we need to enjoy the world before we pass, and the world itself is gone.
Here Lies Us All...In A Billion Years
Why Does It Matter?
Because of all these thoughts that surround my brain everyday it makes me ask the question, "Why does it matter?" Why does anything matter? If we are all going to die, everyone we know will die and soon we will be ancestors of someone who didn't even know we existed. And hell, in a billion years unless we find some alien technology the size of a mass relay in Mass Effect the human race is going to be extinct anyway from the dying sun. Scientists say that eventually the universe will be devoid of all life. Every star will die, every living organism. Eventually there will be no life period. But whose to say that's true? We don't know what the universe is like outside our own solar system let alone outside of our galaxy. So quite possibly they are wrong, especially when you throw in some quantum mechanics theories such as multiple parallel universes that one day the human race may be able to see. What's the point of life if we are all going to die? What's the point of being miserable day in and day out slaving away at a 40-hour a week job only to come home and cook dinner, clean the house, pay bills, clean the car, do yard work, wash the dog, take care of the kids? Why do we bother doing any of these when in less than a century, possibly depending on age even less than half a century none of it is going to matter? It makes me wonder if my ancestors thought the same thing. Other than putting me here where I am today, eventually dying as well, what legacy did they leave? And will it even matter once humanity is possibly extinguished in a billion years?
Anyone alive has no idea what death is like, but we have ideas and theories and first-hand accounts for those who have had near-death experiences or contact with the paranormal. It is said that being religious causes a greater fear of death, but honestly it may be a relief to those who need something to believe in. Christians believe in going to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. Wiccans and many others believe in reincarnation and the idea of Karma which is what weighs upon your soul for your next life. The ancient Greek civilization believed in going down to the House of Hades, where there were a few places your soul could go depending on the weight (or lack thereof) of your sins. We all believe in something, and some scientists say it is scientifically impossible to fully "die" that something happens after our body gives up, but we don't know what.
All in all, we're not sure what death is like, or what happens afterwards. All we know is our loved ones are gone, all memories of theirs gone, just everything is gone with the rotting corpse in the ground or burnt into a pile of dust, and all of us are next.