October 17, 2018

Stop fearing death, start living life

Humans tend to fear death, but they shouldn’t. Everything around us dies.  As seasons change, we watch leaves shrivel and fall from trees. Grass is green, but as the snow falls, the ground muddies up. Flowers grow tall, but when storms strike, their petals fall. Everything dies, and death is only part of a cycle.

Humans die just as leaves do. But instead of fearing the death of a leaf, we understand it as part of a season we call fall.

From the time we are born, people are constantly transforming. We are born; we grow through adolescence and eventually old age.  Death is the last part of this cycle, which is the same cycle trees, grass, animals and any other living thing goes through.

It’s easy for us to accept the death of other living things. So why can’t we accept our own demise?

Death is about perspective. Humans fear death because we tend to perceive it as an end to life. Death frightens us because we don’t know its outcome. But even in life, we can’t foresee the outcome of anything. What makes death different? When we are young, we don’t know what we will look like in our 20s, the job we will have in our 40s, or what the weather will be like tomorrow. Death is a mystery, but so is life.

Life and death are part of the same cycle. If we perceive death as something other than an end, no matter the outcome, we will realize it isn’t so scary.

To fear death is irrational because we don’t know the outcome of death, so how can we fear it? It is unwise to fear something we have no knowledge about. We may be skeptical and wonder about death, but there must be a tangible reason to fear something.

When we face our fear of death, we begin to realize what is important to us. Death shouldn’t be feared, but used as motivation to appreciate life.

We should embrace the present, so that whether we die abruptly, or from old age, we know that every second was worth living, because we weren’t dwelling on the past or fearing the future.

Death is a natural process and is out of our control. So why do we assume it’s something to be feared? A burning ball of fire that rises every morning may sound frightening, but we realize it’s just the sun. The sky getting dark may be fearful but then we see the stars and make a wish when one dies.

Death is what follows life. Think of death as graduation —our next mission. Why should we fear it? We are conquering life. When we were in our mothers’ wombs, we had no idea what was in store for us. And when we perceive death as something natural and realize we are in the same cycle as the late November leaf, we can begin to accept death.

 

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