have no fear of death.
Death is by no
means separate from life. . . . We all interact with death
every day, tasting it as we might a wine, feeling its keen edge even
in trifling losses and disappointments, holding it by the hand,
as a dancer might a partner, in every separation.
Death is simply a shedding of
the physical body,
like the butterfly coming out of a cocoon. . . .
It's like putting away your winter coat when spring comes.
Master Tanzan, on the day of his death, called upon
to send a batch of identical postcards. Each one said simply:
"I am departing this world. There will be no further
messages. Tanzan." -traditional Zen Buddhist story
"We must live," and seeks the means
increasing, facilitating and amplifying life,
of making it tolerable
wisdom says: "We must die," and
seeks how to make us die well.
|We treat death as a tragedy, as an ending of
the good times. But what if we could think of it as it
really is in nature, a process of physical change, an
inevitable transformation, something you cannot alter and so
must accept? Then it's possible to look directly at it
instead of turning away in fear, to examine it instead of
shunning it in denial. -Mark Forstater
I am not going
to die. I'm
going home like a shooting star. -Sojourner Truth
does not cease to be funny when
people die any more than
it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
-George Bernard Shaw
|The deep pain that is felt at the
death of every friendly soul arises
from the feeling that
there is in every individual something
inexpressible, peculiar to him or her alone
and is therefore
absolutely and irretrievably lost.
|Do not fear
death, but welcome it, since it too comes from nature. For just
we are young and grow old, and flourish and reach maturity, have teeth
a beard and grey hairs, conceive, become pregnant, and bring forth new
and all the other natural processes that follow the seasons of our
so also do we have death.
A thoughtful person will never take death lightly,
impatiently, or scornfully,
but will wait for it as one of life's natural processes.
find by losing. We hold fast by letting go. We become something new by ceasing to be something old.
This seems to be close to the heart of that mystery. I know no more now than I ever did about the far side
of death as the last letting-go of all, but now I know
that I do not need to know, and that I do not need
to be afraid of not knowing. God knows. That is all that matters.
proud she was to die
It made us all ashamed
That what we cherished, so unknown
To her desire seemed.
satisfied to go
Where none of us should be,
Immediately, that anguish stooped
Almost to jealousy.
idea of full dress is preparation for a battle comes not from
a belief that it will add
to the fighting ability. The
preparation is for death, in case that should be the result
the conflict. Every Indian wants to look his or her best
when they go to meet
Spirit, so the dressing up is
done whether an imminent danger is an oncoming battle or a
sickness or injury at times of peace.
equally pointless to weep because
we won't be alive a
from now as that we were not here
years ago. -Michel de
some persons died, and others did not die,
indeed be a terrible affliction. -Jean de la Bruyere
Death stands above me,
I know not what into my ear;
Of his strange language all I know
Is, there is not a word of fear.
Walter Savage Landor
creator would never have made
such lovely days
and have given us
the deep hearts to enjoy them,
beyond all thought, unless
we were meant to be immortal. -Nathaniel Hawthorne
is on my head but eternal spring is in my heart. The
nearer I approach the end,
the plainer I hear around me
the immortal symphonies of the world to come. For half a
century I have been writing my thoughts in prose and
verse; but I feel
that I have not said one-thousandth
part of what is in me. When I have gone down to the grave
I shall have ended my life's work; but another day will
the next morning. Life closes in the twilight but
opens with the dawn. -Victor Hugo
He is not
dead, this friend; not dead,
Gone some few, trifling steps ahead,
And nearer to the end;
So that you, too, once past the bend,
Shall meet again, as face to face, this friend
You fancy dead.
are born for a higher destiny than that of earth; there
is a realm where
the rainbow never fades, where the stars
will be spread before us like islands
that slumber on the
ocean, and where the beings that pass before us
shadows will stay in our presence forever.
and the Flowers
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.
"Shall I have naught that is fair?" saith he;
"Have naught but the bearded grain?
Though the breath of these flowers is
sweet to me,
I will give them all back again."
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves;
It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.
"My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,"
The Reaper said, and smiled;
"Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.
"They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
And saints, upon their garments white,
These sacred blossoms wear."
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again
In the fields of light above.
Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
'T was an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.
It is a sad
weakness in us, after all, that the thought of a person's death consecrates
or her anew to us. It is as if life
were not sacred too, as if it were comparatively
thing to fail in love and reverence to the brother or sister who
has to climb
the whole toilsome mountain with us. It
seems as if all our tears and tenderness
were due to the
one who is spared that hard journey.
twitches my ear.
"Live," he says, "I am coming."
Our dead brothers
and sisters still live for
us and bid us think of life, not death--of life
in their youth they lent the passion and glory of Spring. As I listen,
chorus of life and joy begins
and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen
and destinies of good and evil,
our trumpets sound
once more a note of daring, hope, and will.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
singeth low in every heart,
We hear it each and all,--
A song of those who answer not,
However we may call;
They throng the silence of the breast,
We see them as of yore,--
The kind, the brave, the true, the sweet,
Who walk with us no more.
John White Chadwick
The nearer I approach death the more I feel
one who is in sight of land at last and is about
anchor in one's home port after a long voyage.
There is no cure for birth or death
enjoy the interval. -George Santayana
I think on death as the apparent end
illusions that encompass us.
They all have a sudden and
that challenges any faith we have pinned
to their worth. -Vachel Lindsay
The fear of death
is indeed the pretense of wisdom, and not real wisdom,
pretense of knowing the unknown; and no one knows whether death,
which people in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the
greatest good. -Plato
all the progress that humans have made
is due to the fact that they are mortal. . . .
If there were no death, life would become a thing
stagnant, monotonous, and unspeakably burdensome.
dying if you must. It takes us from the only life we know,
and that is a worthy loss to mourn. But do not fear death.
It is something too great to celebrate, too great to fear.
it brings us to a judgment, so it is ours to control by the kind
of life we live, or it annihilates us into the great rhythm of nature,
and we join the eternal peace of the revolving heavens.
|When his great friend Hui-Tzu heard that the
sage Chuang Tzu's wife had died, he immediately went to
console him. But when he arrived at Chuang Tzu's house
he found him singing and drumming on an old tub in front of
his wife's coffin.
Hui Tzu was shocked, and said, "When a wife has lived
with her husband and raised children, and then dies in old
age, it would be difficult to hold back tears. But isn't
it a bit extreme to sing and drum?"
Chuang Tzu said, "No, it's not. When she first
died, it was impossible for me not to mourn for her like
everyone else. But then I reflected on the very
beginning of her existence when she had not yet been
born. Not only had she no life, but she had no bodily
form; not only had she no bodily form, but she had no breath.
"Because of the intermingling of yin and yang, there
ensued a change, and she had breath; another change, and there
was her bodily form; another change, and there came birth and
life. Now there is another change, and she is
dead. The relation between these things is like the
procession of the four seasons from spring to summer, from
autumn to winter.
"Now she lies at peace in her coffin, and if I were to
fall about sobbing and wailing, it would look as if I did not
understand the ways of destiny. I therefore controlled
The grave is the first stage of the journey into
the first four years after she died, I felt like an orphan.
Then one night she came to me in a dream, and from that moment on,
I no longer felt her death as a loss. I understood that she had
died, that my sorrow was based on an illusion. . . . The reality of my
mother was beyond birth or death. She did not exist because of
nor cease to exist because of death. I saw that being and
are not separate. . . . Being able to see my mother in a dream, I
that I could see my mother everywhere.
Death has always been pictured as a dark angel, as a
sinister figure. I wonder if the metaphor of going home
to a mother, to a father, isn't a better and more accurate one.
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is not putting out the light. It is only extinguishing a
lamp because the day has come. -Rabindranath
human beings are like travelers floating down the eternal river of
time, embarking at a certain point and disembarking again at
another point in order to make room for others waiting below the
river to come aboard. -Lin Yutang
the Buddhist approach, life and death are seen as one whole, where
death is the beginning of another chapter of life. Death is
the mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected.
|Since we live with
death, we ought to think of it while living. To settle
accounts, to draw a balance, is important and useful. The
pastors should make it clear that it can be anyone's turn next;
that everyone's turn comes at some point; that to prepare oneself
is good. -Peter Noll
Home - About -
- abundance - acceptance
- achievement - action
- adversity - advertising
- anger - anticipation
- apathy - appreciation -
- art - attitude - authenticity
autumn - awakening
- awareness -
- balance -
beauty - being yourself - beliefs
- body - brooding
busyness - caring
- celebration - challenges - change
- character - charity
- children -
- commitment - common sense
- community - comparison -
- complaining -
- compromise -
- conscience - contentment
control - cooperation
- courage -
covetousness - creativity -
criticism - cruelty - death
determination - disappointment - discipline
- discouragement - diversity - doubt -
dreams - earth
ego - emotions - encouragement -
- envy -
- ethics - example
- experience - failure -
faith - fame - family -
fate - fathers - fault-finding
- fear - feelings
- frustration - fun - the future - the
garden of life - gardening - generosity
gentleness - giving
goals - God - goodness -
grace - gratitude -
greatness - greed
- growing up - guilt
- happiness -
hatred - healing -
health - heart -
helpfulness - home - honesty -
hope - hospitality
hurry - ideals
- identity - idleness -
idolatry - ignorance
- illusion - imagination -
independence - individuality - inner
child - inspiration -
integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition
- journey - joy -
judgment - karma - kindness - knowledge - language
- laughter -
law of attraction
leadership - learning - letting go -
- love - lying - magic
materialism - meanness -
mindfulness - miracles
- mistakes - mistrust-
moderation - money
mothers - motivation - music
- mystery - Native American wisdom
- nature - negative attitude -
- open mindedness - opportunity -
optimism - pain
- parenting - passion
the past - patience - peace
perfectionism - perseverance -
pessimism - play - poetry
- positive thinking - possessions
potential - poverty - power
- praise - prayer
- prejudice -
the present moment - pride -
principle - problems
- prosperity - purpose -
reading - recreation
- reflection -
relationships - religion - reputation
- responsibility - rest -
revenge - risk - role models -
running - ruts - sadness -
the seasons of life
self - self-love -
self-pity - self-reliance
- selfishness - service -
silence - simplicity
- smiles -
solitude - sorrow - spirit - spring
stories - strength
success - suffering
- summer -
talent - the tapestry of
- teachers - teaching
today - tolerance
- tradition - trees
truth - values - vanity
- virtue - vulnerability - walking
war - wealth - weight - winter -
- women -
- work - worry -
- youth -
Dale Carnegie - Albert Einstein - Ralph
Waldo Emerson - Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross -
Helen Keller - Mother
Teresa - Eleanor Roosevelt
Swett Marden - Albert Schweitzer - Aristotle
Mohandas Gandhi - Wilferd