Dying is the least favorite topic among the living. And yet we all know we are fated to die one day.
When you think about it, it’s no more morbid than reminding yourself you are fated to fall asleep tonight. Death is the Big Sleep. Regardless of your age, your gender, your ethnicity or your religion, this is as good a time as any to give your death some thought. Not to dwell on it, but just enough to consider which artist has provided you the brightest torch with which to travel the trip. Which poet, painter, composer, novelist or playwright? If these include family and friends, all the better.
I will share my own choice. Not as competition with those family and friends I have deeply loved and needed, but as an opportunity for you to do the same. My choice of artist has to be the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Thornton Wilder. One of several torch-bearers in my life, but whose light did the most to pierce the darkness. Especially three of his works: “Our Town,” “Skin of Our Teeth,” and his autobiography. The first two should be well known to you, but take hold of this torch from the third:
“Soon my friends we shall die, and all memory of us will have left the earth. And we ourselves shall be loved for awhile and then forgotten. But the love will have been enough. All those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love. The only survival, the only meaning…”
What more needs be added.
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