Even on the death bed, some cling to life.

Why?

Fear of the unknown?

Responsibility for things left undone?

Fear of giving up worldly possessions?

There is so much more to see, touch, feel, taste, hear – indulge?

Nothing to lose

Perhaps it is easier to give up that which is no more —

Is the fading of one’s faculties Nature’s way of preparing us for the inevitable?

What are your thoughts on this?

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Tomorrow – Contributors’ Gallery

Lighthouse – 55 word Flash Fiction

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89 comments

  1. A Haiku reflection somewhat related to your post:

    Just watched ‘Eat, Pray, Love’:
    Come to terms with your divine self
    The balance lies within

    1. This is marvellous sharing, Prashant.

      Very truly said too – it all “lies within”

      I love this haiku – you should also post it on your blog so that your readers can enjoy and draw from it, as well.

      Peace, Eric

  2. My dad died quickly and suddenly. He was relatively young. We were unprepared. While my only consolation is that he left with little pain — so doctors tell us — the pain he’s left in us is colossal and eternal. I so wish he could experience the physical decline you mentioned before departing. At least that might have prepared him, and better prepared us. Still, he lives in my life each and every day until such time when I get to see him again.
    A wonderful post. I’ve been enjoying your writing.

    1. Oh dear, I’m very sorry if my post evoked painful memories, Vera. It was never my intention.

      Thank you for sharing so openly your thoughts and feelings – you honour and humble me with your words. Yes, many of us have lost our loved ones – both my parents have moved on – and we look forward to the wonderful reunion.

      Thank you for your visit, sharing and encouragement.

      All good thoughts from me to you and your loved ones,
      Eric

    1. Hello, Que – congratulations for having landed this award 🙂

      Thank you also, for passing it on my way.

      Pardon me if I don’t go through the “process” as I simply don’t have the time. But so as not to diminish the thoughts of kind people who pass it on – I list all nominations in my Z-Awards Page > http://wp.me/P1YE83-Bx

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  3. When the play is over, gracefully exit the stage. Unresolved issues can’t be “carried over” like a math problem. Better to leave it all behind us. ☼

    1. “math problem” – yup, definitely to be left behind 🙂

      On a more serious note – that’s a valid point – we do leave behind our earthly burdens. Thank you, for reminding – a silver lining for those who cling to life.

  4. Interesting. I could tell you all sorts of things about how I might or might not face death. There are times in my life when I have thought I was dying, each time a completely different experience. Truth is, since I have no particular religious or ideological prescription to conform my prediction to, I have no idea. It’s like trying to say how you might respond to any unknown experience. Maybe I’d find it fascinating. Maybe I’d cry and beg for one more hour. I’ll find out, I guess.

  5. It never ceases to amaze me how the majority of religions, except perhaps one, and people obsess over immortality. Why would anyone want to live forever? Paradise, Heaven, as described by some religions sounds boring to me. It will not bother me one bit to become fertilizer for trees, flowers, nature. Perhaps if I had been born a slave or in other extremely difficult circumstances, I would want another chance. Perhaps some part of us does live on, but it will greatly surprise me.

    1. Yes, as mentioned in one of my Fallen Grace episodes > http://wp.me/p1YE83-1cZ > one will see how bland heaven is – it is a joke what some religions promise. Compared to this, it would seem more worthwhile to fertilize flora.

      You are right and I agree, Juliana, about “second chances” – if the dice did not quite roll up the way we expected or hoped for, the first time.

      Peace, Eric

  6. Very beautiful poem, gripping. Fear of unknown and loneliness, as that’s the one thing we have to face alone. Nature tries to prepare us but leaving dear ones behind though we are dispensable. Its hard to practice detachment.

  7. This is one journey that we have to do it all alone and not a single person can tell us what he/she had ever experienced. Sometimes I feel we are like the “Reality Show” on TV for our creator to view and probably have a good laugh. But if we can amuse or frustrate our creator, why not. Having no control whatsoever of this ultimate destiny, I would just say : what will be, will be. So, let nature takes its course.

    1. Very true, Jasey dear.

      The Old Fella having a laugh? Hmmm — naughty, I reckon 🙂

      On a serious note – yes, a journey we have to make – alone.

      Luv and hugz,
      Eric

  8. interesting Eric! your words & all others’ views are excellent!! your words make me put my point in a turn around manner, death when explained with life.this stretch of life…isnt it a meditation with senses striving to bloom each minute..finding harmony in struggles faced. life’s worth shines when comfort zone is torn each time, deliberated by selves. a desert traveller knows the real worth of a water droplet..he had died thousand deaths in his efforts, thoughts, emotions to quench his thirst..one more death of bodily shrivelling is just not an end to this diamond hard soul..which is ready for its journey once again. more than spiritual , the point here is everything’s a point, a dot , a circle, a cycle..of light & dark, of filled & vacuum , of the black hole & the white expanse. so what’s there to lose in a death, when its just a station & not destination..

    1. Wonderful thoughts, you expressed, Uma – I enjoyed your comment. Thank you.

      Many – yours truly included – would agree with your take that “death” to this world is a mere milestone in a journey.

      Peace, Eric

  9. a hard hitting thought Eric! Every soul shall have to severe the strong bonds before leaving..even if the work is done ..as our hands are not off untill we die… as we move forward , our past ,our work should remain a part of past and shouldn’t be carry forth , a string of attachment to ourselves,work,family,friends, fame everything holds us back to bid a smiling adieu… Remembering few lines …
    The world was there without us and will be there without us,for HE knows how to take care of us and of everyone behind! shall make us more easier to leave!

    1. Thank you Soumya – for your visit and comment. Those are interesting thoughts indeed.

      That quotation – yes, it continues no matter what and He knows best.

      Peace, Eric

  10. Dear Eric,

    Thank you once again for a thought-provoking poem. I pondered it and came up with this:

    Fading Light

    Agility, gone, replaced by
    Frailty.
    Abilities, vanished, taken
    Stealthily.
    Faculties, absent, vanquished by
    Senility.
    Momentarily, a flicker; extinguished, such
    Fragility.
    Nobility, once clutched, absconded by
    Futility.
    Inevitably, yes; now cloaked in
    Tranquility.

    Thank you for posting such a powerful poem. It has been a treat to read the thoughts of your followers.

    Take care,
    Paul

    1. Dear Paul,

      As I mentioned in your blog post – truly this poem of yours captures the theme far better than my offering.

      We learn and encourage each other.

      Peace, Eric
      P/s Worth repeating – “Tranquility” – holds out enormous hope for all of us

  11. natural survival instinct. some have not made peace with themselves and have regrets, while others are ready, each person has their own way

  12. death and it’s final sting…Eric, We can all be full of belief, but at that last breath, I bet everyone would want to hold on to what’s known, in exchange for the unknown… Deep down I think we all fear that final step … to think we will not set foot on the earth, feel the cheek of a loved one, kiss and be kissed,,, Oh I do hope there’s light at the end of the tunnel…. or I want a refund 😉 A thought provoking post… xPenx

    1. Oh, Penny,

      There is definitely a glorious light at the end of the tunnel. Of this belief, I am unshakeable!

      Peace, Eric
      P/s A refund – yes, we should demand one from all the ones out there who equate salvation with how large a monetary contribution we make.

  13. Very well put for the emptiness one might feel by that time if that is a representation of all he/she lived, and lost. There is a favorite bible scripture of mine in the new testament that reads, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Jesus’s words). The poem says it all I think of one lost, and in that state.

    1. That’s a different take on my post – “one lost and in that state”. I love these views as this is what I wanted to read – all the different views.
      Cheers, Eric
      P/s Yes, I’m aware of that New Testament quote.

    1. PS. More seriously: one point of view is (psychological) conditioning. There is no culture yet for joyful deaths. I agree with the post that it is ultimately an individual thing.

    1. I’m sorry if my post elicted such dark thoughts on a Monday, Madie – but I know where you’re coming from. I actually feel the same way – when it comes, it comes. Because, like you, I’m convinced I’m moving on to better things 🙂

  14. The fear of embracing something new and giving up the world (our home) where we have spent years. It is like going to a new school, except that it is much more worse..

    1. Very true, Padmini – I like this approach. Reluctance to leave one’s comfort zone and fearing the worst in the new place. The fear of the unknown is an enormous hurdle for most of us.
      Peace, Eric

  15. A sad piece, but very true. I hope death comes quickly and mercifully for me when the time comes. But not too soon, I have too many things I want to do.

    I hope you have a much more upbeat week, Eric. Happy Monday!

    1. Yes, Susan, you’re right. I didn’t consider that it was a Monday and too early in the week to launch a somewhat sad/depressing post. Hope I had not unduly spoiled your week. I promise something light on Wednesday.

      All good cheer to you too,
      Eric 🙂

  16. Very well expressed,Eric. I believe that as human beings,we find it very difficult to let go- we hang on to our memories,we hang on to old clothes,broken furniture et al- basically all that we possessed at one point in time in our lives.We take our life for granted- we forget that one day we will diminish- completely wiped off from this Earth.Perhaps it is this indefatigable spirit to cling,hold on does not allow us to give up so easily ;this feeling becomes more and more profound when we know that we only have a few moments to live- we want to accomplish everything possible in those few moments and I think that it is completely rightful on Nature’s part when we start losing our senses one by one due to old age because we then begin to realise that one day will come when we will have to completely give up what we had been holding on to all our lives.

    Excellent post-by all means !

    1. You summarised the gist very well – the clinging to comfort zones, fear of the unknown and the belief that the inevitable is ‘far away’. Thank you, Swati.

      Peace and blessings,
      Eric

    1. It makes absolute sense, my dear Val, and spoken from life experience too.

      I hope my post has not been too depressive for a Monday.

      All good cheer ahead,
      Eric

  17. In the 7th age we should by all accounts be more than aware of the moment, known deep within, when we can let go. I believe that this is so and that we all know when that moment is however hard we try to hang on to what? Love, Life or Belongings?
    ‘Living and dying’ in many cultures teaches us how to approach that moment, go through the moment, live afterwards, ready to return at the right moment. Love David.

    1. Yes, I can relate to this, David, and thank you for sharing. Similar to what some believe:

      That beyond the door lies a wondrous world – so unimaginably beautiful that if revealed, many might jump ship before it is time to put to shore. So, as we reach calm waters, the captain makes his annoucements – to clear the cabins, pack the bags, say our good byes – for a smooth disembarkation.

      New lands, new adventures beckon.

      Peace, Eric

    1. When a younger me thought of death, I would worry about my children and felt it was a terrible thing not being able to see them grow up….as I’ve grown older, I no longer feel this dread….but I feel a certain saddness not to see their children grow up…recently, my dad passed away…he was always very vital and loved life…but in the end, he left us serenely, except for one thought, well two: that my mother had become too dependant on him and that we might not celebrate christmas as we always had. Mom, has become very independant…and as he wished we had the annual family gathering for pzza on christmas eve. I for myself, hope to go quickly, and before my children…I fear degeneration in life more than dieing…maybe the passing rather than the arrival…the long drawn out wait. I’ve often made the provebial freudian slip: birth in place of death…in a way, we have already died once, the day we left the womb to be born in this life…thanks for your lovely poem, good night! Georgia.

      1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, Georgia – thank you very much indeed.

        I believe many readers can share in what you say – I certainly can. Slow degeneration is dreadful and many would prefer a quick snuff – when the time comes, I know I would.

        All good wishes,
        Eric

  18. Your words ring true. I’ve always looked at death as the end of a stage, the fear of the unknown makes me try to do the good I can here.

  19. I disagree. i think most all of us strive to live, to stay alive, even for another day. Today I saw a stunted tree that had been pruned all the way back. Not a leaf on it. Except for red blossums springing forth. Why? The tree was on its last legs, OK trunks. But its response to attempt to reproduce, to give forth more life had been genetically programmed in advance in accordance with Mr. Darwin’s imperitives. The instinct to survive survives. It’s true that Nature sometimes weakens us in old age. For myself I plan to go down swinging.

    1. Thank you for your take, Bumba.

      It is interesting what you say – that most, having lost all their faculties, lying on his/her dead bed, would strive to live, to stay alive, even if only for another day. Such is the hold of life – and genetic programming.

      But I’m with you – let’s go down swinging 🙂

  20. For me, I would hang on for fear of not being with my loved ones. The same feelings go for the loved ones letting go..however, if I were so ill that a good quality of life was not possible, I think I would want to “move on” and make things easier for my family, as well…this post opens up so many different thoughts, Eric…:)

    1. Hello, Lauren,

      Truly spoken as one who loves and cares – and I share your sentiments here. I too want to live as long as I can for my family but leave quickly, if ever there is a risk of becoming a burden.

      But Nature – and some call it fate – has her own agenda.

      Peace, Eric

    1. Thank you, Maryrose, for your visit and comment.

      “we each will experience death in our own way” – so much truth in this, I reckon.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  21. I rather question those whose bodies fail instead of their memories and cognizance, and how much more difficult that would be for me, knowingly losing my independence instead of slipping out of awareness.
    But who’s to define better or worse, blessing or tragedy, except for themselves?
    Life is a strange place.

  22. You got us all thinking – your poem reminds me of Shakespeare’s seventh age in his ‘Seven Ages of Man’:
    “Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”
    As I approach this seventh age I think that I’d prefer to forgo the preparation and just go fast. I suggest that the “sans” part is so exhausting that the sufferer wants to escape; a morbid thought!
    Cheerio,
    Jane

    1. Thank you, Jane, for sharing your thoughts.

      I prefer to go with a snap of the finger too. The last leg should not be as a burden for anyone – especially our loved ones.

      Peace, Eric

    1. Yes, Aparna,

      Removing or dulling all our faculties – is this Nature’s way of preparing us/cajoling us to “let go”?

      You are right, I suppose, it makes it easier.

      Peace, Eric

    1. Eric, I think is how God created Adam and Eve were meant to live spiritually and physically forever. But Adam & Eve let sin reign causing spiritual and physical death.

      Ian, correct me if I’m wrong.

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