A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
“We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.” - Madame de Stael
I was chatting with a friend today and the talk turned to the topic of death. We questioned whether we would prefer to die quietly and imperceptibly, as in one’s sleep for example, or whether it would be preferable to die in a way that one was aware of the moment of death. The former was his preference, the latter mine. I guess as far as I was concerned I would want to die and have that experience as the last experience of life.
I wonder if one is aware of one’s death as it approaches? Is it perhaps like that no-man’s-land between wakefulness and sleep or is it a case of an on-off switch – awareness to non-awareness? Surely it would depend on the cause of death and the circumstances of the death. One may die peacefully in one’s bed or die a violent and painful death. One may slip away or fight for each breath, trying to hang on to dear life. It is a fascinating topic and perhaps we cannot not answer that question of “how does it feel to die?” as we do not know what happens after death.
A poem by Christina Rossetti today that touches upon approaching Winter (and death), but also the promise of Spring and rebirth…
Fade tender lily,
Fade O crimson rose,
Fade every flower,
Sweetest flower that blows.
Go, chilly autumn,
Come, O winter cold;
Let the green stalks die away
Into common mould.
Birth follows hard on death,
Life on withering:
Hasten, we will come the sooner
Back to pleasant spring.
Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.