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Essay

Why we Fear Death

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When death is inevitable, why do we fear death? Is it natural or unnatural? As birth is normal, death is also normal. Despite that, we see death as something bad or unusual or even dread death. When one analyses the fear of death, then one may see it is because of losing their identity. We will not identify one with (name of) the body, one’s relatives and also losing other material possessions which one has earned through hard work over the lifetime.

But here comes the real question: if one fears death so much that of losing everything which he has earned through his hard work and other means, then is it possible to say that person lived life while he was alive on this earth? Because every person in this world knows that death is inevitable and we all are going to die one day or the other, still instead of living life, why do most people allow life to live them? Many among us would have hardly pondered over this.

If life is a journey, then all journeys should end one day. If life is a roller coaster ride, then it should also stop one day, but still many of us fear death. Death is one of the final destinations of life, while we set up our journey called life. Instead of enjoying the journey (though easily said and done), many of us are frightened about living. Some of you may say it is because of the unknown where are we heading, even while living, as well as the fear of the afterlife.

These may seem to be very valid questions. But, when we came to life, we are not conscious of when our life force has entered this earth. (Some may say from the mother’s womb — even before that!) If you are conscious of that, then you are aware of where you are heading (it’s the fact). If you are not aware of it, then why do you fear death? The problem here is acceptance of losing everything, including one’s identity. We are so used to thinking that we are all in this human body for a long time, and we will live eternally. And most of us forget to live life while we are on this earth.

The greatest blessing in this world is to be alive. But many of us are not truly living life by being alive. Even while on this earth, most people are living a life of death. For them, what can even death do?

Being alive every day is the greatest gift one can give back to God, or the life force, or nature (whatever you call it). Life is hard to live, and life is very harsh for many people. Despite that, there are very few people who live beautiful lives despite the harshness shown to them by life. It is because they understand and accept that life has to move on. They know better that there is no point or time in whining about everything in life. Life has to move like water that flows towards the sea/ocean.

The mere existence of human life is not an issue. But, are humans only born for mere existence? This human life is the rarest gift—what we are going to do with it is completely left to us. Rather, than living alive on a day-to-day basis, we humans struggle to live and are living a life of mere existence.

Famous Tamil Poet Avvaiyar[1] said “To be born a human is most venerable; even more revered is to be born as a human without a hump on the back, blindness, deafness or sickness. Also rare is to have the free will to seek knowledge, to learn and to have the ability to do charity/help others.” Many Saints have claimed the same “Rare is the Human Birth”. But, are we valuing our life which is a rare gift? We are scared about death and other day-to-day petty things. But, we don’t know the value of our rare gift called Life. Let us try to value this rarest gift and live a more conscious life by seeking the highest knowledge.

*****

[1]அரிதுஅரிதுமானிடராய்பிறத்தல்அரிது, அதனினும்அரிதுகூன், குருடு, செவிடு,பேடுநீக்கிபிறத்தல்அரிது. அதனினும்அரிதுஞானமும் ,கல்வியும்நயத்தல்அரிது. அதனினும்அரிதுதானமும் ,தவமும்தான்செய்தல்அரிது – For people who wanted Tamil poem exactly.

 

 

Image by ThePixelman from Pixabay

Madhusudhanan S

Madhusudhanan S is an independent economist and writer. His stories and essays have been published in the Storizen Magazine and Selfgrowth.com

4 Comments

  1. Vijay Likhite

    Madhusudhanan,
    A good analysis of life and death.
    In fact, the unknown component of our existence is what makes life more enjoyable. It is the attachment to various matters on earth that creates the feeling of dreading losing them after death. So no attachments, no fear.
    That is what saints of our country have preached to us.

  2. Avatar
    Dushyant Meher Reply

    Dear Madhu,
    It was a nice read about life…some true reflections. Thank you for portraying life in the right perspective…

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