The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that
you'll grow out of it.
Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to
differ. I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies,
your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new
dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills
but you work hard for thirty five years and you pay it back and then
one day you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is
paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the
left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and
regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then one day you
step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a
city bus and then you die. Maybe.
We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears. We must not
demean life by standing in awe of death.
From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that
~Edward Young, Night Thoughts~
Our birth is nothing but our death begun.
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me.
The Carriage held but just ourselves
Oh, for the time when I shall sleep
Die, v.: To stop sinning suddenly.
The irony of man's condition is that the deepest need is to be
free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself
which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.
The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like
nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity - designed
largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in
some way that it is the final destiny of man.
~Erik H. Erikson~
Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity
enough not to fear death.
Now I know, is that first breath
Which our souls draw when we enter
Life, which is of all life center
No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.
Death is a debt we all must pay.
~Francis Bacon, Essays~
Men fear Death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that
natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
~Friedrich Nietzsche, Expeditions of an Untimely Man~
To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death
of one's own free choice, death at the proper time, with a clear
head and with joyfulness, consummated in the midst of children and
witnesses~ so that an actual leave-taking is possible while he who
is leaving is still there.
~From the television show Roseanne~
If you spend all your time worrying about dying, living isn't
going to be much fun.
~From the movie Gladiator~
I knew a man who once said, "death smiles at us all; all a man can
do is smile back."
~F. Forrester Church~
Religion is the human response to being alive and having to die.
He who doesn't fear death dies only once.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage~
Death, the sable smoke where vanishes the flame.
~Attributed to George Carlin~
Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long
period of time.
~George Bernard Shaw~
Death is for many of us the gate of hell; but we are inside on the
way out, not outside on the way in.
~George Eliot, The Choir Invisible~
Oh, may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again.