~Madame de Stael~
We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon
one whom we love.
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die" - a strange
complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives
fully is prepared to die at any time.
People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort
of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but
through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way
as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.
We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say
this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant
future. It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the
day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon,
this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled
All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death
than animals that know nothing.
~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations~
Death is a release from the impressions of sense, and from impulses
that make us their puppets, from the vagaries of the mind, and the
hard service of the flesh.
Death a friend that alone can bring the peace his treasures cannot
purchase, and remove the pain his physicians cannot cure.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960~
The death of someone we know always reminds us that we are still
alive - perhaps for some purpose which we ought to re-examine.
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what
dies inside us while we live.
~Percival Arland Ussher~
A man does not die of love or his liver or even of old age; he dies
of being a man.
No one knows whether death is really the greatest blessing a man can
have, but they fear it is the greatest curse, as if they knew well.
Death is patiently making my mask as I sleep. Each morning I awake
to discover in the corners of my eyes the small tears of his wax.
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is
more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts --
hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for
grief -- love is stronger than death.
~René Francois Regnier~
Gaily I lived as ease and nature taught,
And spent my little life without a thought,
And am amazed that Death, that tyrant grim,
Should think of me, who never thought of him.
I wouldn't mind dying - it's the business of having to stay dead
that scares the shit out of me.
~Robert Alton Harris~
You can be a king or a street sweeper,
but everybody dances with the Grim Reaper.
Someday I'll be a weather-beaten skull resting on a grass pillow,
Serenaded by a stray bird or two.
Kings and commoners end up the same,
No more enduring than last night's dream.