Exploring Human Potential

7 & 7: Life vs. Death


Death is not popular but it is inevitable. The only question is whether it is part of a continuum or something stolen away in the night. Death is not our choice in time or place. But life can be lived with death included. Those who never contribute never live fully. Their lives are like a series of small deaths, death to potential, death to promise, death to exploration. Life deserves to be lived each day, considering the unpredictability of death. That death is at the end should not be feared as much as a halted life at the beginning. Life is a continuum – being, doing, doing without. Things wear out. They break or get broken by events beyond our understanding. Life is short. But the art of living is long. When we change, there is a sadness for what we leave behind, but a joy as well for what lies ahead. It’s a trade-off. Losing a love along the way, that is the pain, depopulation, a hole in your world. Can it ever be filed? Perhaps not, but is that not a tribute to the one who’s gone, to the memory of the one whose pleasures made? No time to fret. No need to rush it. Death will stop for you so why watch out, or dwell on it. A better rest, and well-deserved, a joining ‘wither thou goest’ are in your future too.


You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.
Joan Baez

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.

Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning.
John Henry Cardinal Newman

The great business of life is to be, to do, to do without and depart.
John Morley

Everything passes; everything wears out; everything breaks. (Tout passé, tout lasse, tout casse.)
French proverb

Art is long, life is short. (Ars longa, vita brevis.)

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy, for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.
Anatole France

Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated.
Alphonse de Lamartine

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The test of pleasure is the memory it leaves behind. (die Probe Eines Genusses ist Sein Errinnerung.)
Jean Paul Richter

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me –
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
Emily Dickinson

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than anything I have ever done; it is a far, far, better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.
Charles Dickens

Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people and thy God my God: where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.
Ruth 1:16-17

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