Life and Death

All we know is life. We don’t know anything about death. We know what life is like when somebody else dies, but that’s all we know about death. We know that one day we will die. Even our own death is an abstract concept. We know nothing about death.

We think about death as a loss. When somebody dies we say we lost that person. We put them in the ground and mark the site with a stone so that we can always find them. We grieve because we lost a loved one. Grieving is necessary to process the feelings associated with the life changes that death brings. Death is not necessarily a loss. We don’t know, we only know life.

Although unknowable, death is a part of life. Our lives have the quality of being, with the certain potential of someday not being. We are fine with the not being that was us before we were born. We survived that. The prospect of not being again, after life, is more unsettling. We have more important things to worry about though. We worry about what we know, life.

When we worry our way through life, it is helpful to think about death. To know death in life, we can practice seeing death in each change of circumstance. Who you were yesterday is gone. Who you will be tomorrow is as unknowable as death. Tomorrow you will get to know life again.

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