Death

Grandma Gerry

Ama Reynolds, USA

(Submitted by the author)

Grandma Gerry, when I forget how much I miss you, when I think of you instead of me, I daydream about your heaven and what might be there. There would be lots of yummy, no-longer-dangerous cigarettes, sweet and satisfying. And rose gardens - red roses, pink, yellow, white and red red red.

All Things Change

Lao Zi, China

If you realise that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.

When an old man dies

Amadou Hampâté Bâ, Mali

In Africa, when an old man dies, it is a library burning down.

A Place

John Berger, England

(Originally published by kind permission of John Berger in 'The Art of Living')

What reconciles me to my own death more than anything else is the image of a place: a place where your bones and mine are buried, thrown, uncovered, together. They are strewn there pell-mell. One of your ribs leans against my skull. A metacarpal of my left hand lies inside your pelvis. (Against my broken ribs your breast like a flower.)

A call of love

Hermann Hesse, Germany

(Submitted by Natalya Gretchenko, Russia)

The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation.

The one thing heedful

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, France

How could there be any question of acquiring or possessing, when the one thing heedful for a man is to become, to be at last, and to die in the fullness of his being?

The Cat and the Plane

Claire Elizabeth Terry, England

(Submitted by the author)

Why do we always assume that when someone dies they have ceased to exist on the 'earth-plane' (so to speak) and are in heaven, being reincarnated - or simply don't exist anymore? Could it not be that they do still exist on the 'earth-plane', but within a realm which simply requires a different kind of perception to the one which we're normally used to using?

The most important question

Huston Smith, USA.

Death is the most important question of our time … in good part because we refuse to face it.

Your thoughts:

Silvia Schivella, Sydney, Australia: "My Mum would have turned 83 today. I can’t believe that it's been over 9 years since she passed on. The thing is that often, our way of coping with such a loss is to not think about the person too much. Because when we do, the grief that sits in our unconscious is unleashed and it evokes almost the same gamut of emotions that we felt when we lost the person. The occasions that we used to celebrate pose a particular emotional conundrum – do we pay our respects and so venture into the emotional abyss?

The Walk of a Mourner

Ruth Fogelman, Israel

Almost every day, I walk through the Arab suq to or from Jaffa Gate. But since my mother died, my walk has been different. Since, in the year of mourning (for a parent), a Jew does not receive presents, or buy one for oneself, I keep reminding myself of the fact that I have all I need.

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