Life, they say, is a beautiful thing. Funny how they use the exact same words for Death too.
But, they’re wrong, it’s not beautiful—neither of them is, though Death used to be, when Life was a miraculous thing. But now, Death, I think, has become an escape—a respite. And that wasn’t what Death used to be about; to die was to venture out into the unknown; to finally conquer that fear of darkness that had been haunting us since we were five; Death was adventure, mystery, misery, fear, pain, courage all rolled into one; the hope for something else, something better when we knew this wonderful, beautiful adventure of a Life was coming to an end. Death was unpredictable, unwelcome, unexpected, feared. Now people walk into its icy embrace smiling and accepting their fate. People say if they were to die today—drop dead this very moment, they wouldn’t mind it so much. And it’s sad.
I knew this person—actually, I didn’t know him but I heard of him. My mum used to know him. She told me he took his life—because he wanted to know what death was like. And I found it stupid. My mum said he was a “brooder, philosopher, curious”, well, this time curiosity didn’t kill the cat, no the cat simply killed itself. This boy—for that was what he was: a boy, barely an adult—killed himself to find out what ‘death was like’. And there are millions of people in the world whose only wish as they go to sleep every night is ‘please, God, just one more day, one last time for me to see their smiles’ and there are a million others who refuse to go to sleep, afraid that Death might sneak in as they snore and carry them away, never having a chance to say goodbye. And this boy spit right in their faces.
Death is revered now, not feared as it should be. It is idolized, glorified. And everyone buys right into it. Cancer patients are depicted as brave—never flinching, just simply accepting their fate, after perhaps throwing a mini-tantrum when they first got the news. The movies show them as trying to make the most of today, being happy with today, accepting tomorrow might bring death; they’re shown as wonderful, cheerful—or terribly depressed. Fear is rarely—if ever—shown among the spectrum of emotions they go through, but the end result is always the same—they accept.
Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this scenario?
Yes it is laudable when someone is brave and graceful in the face of certain and inevitable death, but there are millions of people who take this as a sign of not being afraid of Death, but you see, the courage and grace exhibited was born out of necessity, it doesn’t mean they’re not scared, it means they simply choose not to let that fear cripple them and live Life as wonderfully as possible. We do not fear Death, and so are incapable of appreciating Life.
Phrases like ‘kill me now’ or ‘I hate my life, someone end it!’ are thrown about casually. We are incapable of appreciating Life. And to do that is to spit in the face of all those who, despite desperately fighting against it, have their lives snatched away from them.
I don’t see a lot of kids questioning the sun’s position or the sky’s colour. I don’t see people smiling for no reason. I don’t see a lot of colours, and it’s suffocating.