Monday, December 21, 2009

The Inevitable

"Have the courage to live. Anyone can die."
-Robert Cody, American performer

Why does everybody always get so distraught over the one thing that is certain to happen in life? It's inevitable. We're all currently rolling inexorably toward it. Face it now or face it never in all your ignorance: one day, maybe soon, maybe 50 years from now, YOU WILL DIE.

Kick the bucket. Keel over. Croak. Decease. Expire. Pass on. Sleep Eternally. Perish. Blink for an exceptionally long period of time. Push up daisies. Terminate. Curtains. Pay a debt to nature. Feed the worms. Check out. Demise. Cash in the chips.

However you want to phrase it, it will happen to you. But how?

Burn to death. Drown. Get shanked in prison. Get shanked on the streets. Shot. Stabbed. Sliced. Diced. Drive your car off a cliff. Choke on a marble. Impact death. Cardiac arrest. Overdose. Surgery gone wrong. Alcohol poisoning. Suicide. Poison. Cancer. Bleed to death after being bitten by a shark. Tapeworm. Swine flu. Bee stings. Eating shellfish. Electrocution. Carbon monoxide poisoning. Emphysema. AIDS. Blunt object to the face. Child-birth. Eaten by a bear in the woods.

However you want to phrase the means to your ends, it will happen to you.

Brittany Murphy died at the age of 32. The country is mourning. If you don't think it is, click here. Why?
  • She was so young
  • She was such a great actress
  • She inspired me
  • "It's so tragic!"
I see two problems with the story I linked to: a.) was someone honestly paid to go interview "fans" of Brittany Murphy and get cliche answers regarding her age and family? And that story ACTUALLY appears in my Google feed? b.) Everybody is so damn sad.

People die all the time. Babies die at birth. Soldiers die in war. Millions of Africans die of starvation and poor water quality. Haley Joel Osment gets stabbed outside his school (Pay It Forward reference, just in case you mistakenly thought he really did die...give it time, though). Why does everybody get so damn sad?

The samurai had it right (for the most part). They embraced death. Even welcomed it. They didn't rush toward it in hopes of finding it, but they also didn't run from it out of fear. They believed, and rightly so in my estimation, that the true test of a man's character is faced upon his deathbed. Granted, they also committed a heck of a lot of seppuku, which I don't particularly agree with; but regardless, there was no big mourning process. No crying out in frustration. They accepted their fate and so did their peers.

We need to learn to do that. To accept death for what it is: an inevitability. Brittany Murphy is dead. Let that sink in real nice and deep til you know you won't forget it. Michael Jackson is six feet under - feel that, experience that, let the concept of his death flow through you until you can no longer deny it. Someone close to you died - everyone close to you will eventually die.

Here is a quote from a fan from the site to which I linked about Brittany Murphy:
"This is just tragic. I'm sick of everyone dying. 2009 is the worst year! I am saddened for her family and for the world of entertainment. Brittany Murphy was a find."

If I thought it appropriate to drop the f bomb on this blog, I would do it like this: You are a [f-bomb]ing moron! "I'm sick of everyone dying"? Seriously? Let the fact that "everyone" is dying remind you of your own mortality! Cherish it! Everybody WILL die! To say you're sick of that is akin to saying you're sick of everyone breathing. You're sick of everyone drinking water. You're sick of the inevitable.

Next time you're at a family function, whether you're sitting in a kitchen or living room or playing ping pong in the basement, look at the people around you and imagine them as corpses. Imagine their funeral. Imagine burying them in a cemetery. Imagine them gone forever. How does that make you feel? Once you've felt sad and gotten a little teary-eyed, realize that they are still there. They are still in your life. For the time being, they are alive and well, laughing and full of vigor. Joking with you. Talking with you. Yelling at you. Smiling at you.

But after all the smiles have faded, after all the tears have been cried, after all the songs have been sung, they will die.

Don't tear yourself up over it. Don't mull it over in your head for extended periods of time. Accept it. Embrace it. Love the fact that we're all mortal and our time is limited. If we were happy ALL the time, happy would be the new sad and we would need something more fulfilling.

Death is inevitable for a reason. Discover for yourself what that reason is and you'll find yourself a whole lot happier.

2 comments:

Matt Barnes said...

Well, that sure was uplifting, haha. Well said though bud. You can be sad about losing the presence of that person but at the same time, celebrate their life and celebrate your life. And seriously, if you go through life just trying to escape death, you're not living. Amen brother

The Rambler said...

Well put, Jeff. I especially liked the "You are a f**king moron!" comment. Couldn't agree more.