Which Can Be Skipped Without Any Damage to the Plot
This only took me about thirty-six years and five months.
I found a simple, yet comprehensive solution to the question of life and death. Some will say I did not invent anything, anything new at all. However, you must agree: the problem with life and death, usually, does not require a new solution, but rather a convincing one.
You may, for example, repeat endlessly the brilliant mantra invented by an ancient Greek genius: I do not fear death, since I will never meet it; while I am still alive, there is no death for me; the moment the death comes, I am not there already. We never met each other, so why should I fear death? Yes, you may repeat it.( But it does not convince me. )
But it does not convince me. My treacherous imagination will bring me pictures of an old bony lady wearing a long black hooded cloak, approaching me slowly and silently, invisible to those loving family members who lean toward my bed and sincerely try encouraging me to fight, to believe in the better. She would look at me without sentiment with her bottomless eyes from the deep shadow beneath her hood, confidently move one of those kind persons aside with her cold hand, then sliding closer to me, irreversibly, catching and squeezing my poor aching body, torturing my illness-weakened soul until I whisper: yes, I am ready, I can not stand the pain a second longer, take me, I resign this game, take me, let this torture terminate.
Or, you almost certainly prefer believing in life after death. So, let’s joy! – Another soul relocated into a better world, not bothered with its body anymore. No pain, no suffer, no disease, no fear; no passion, no sin, no obsession; no treason of a friend, no face slap by your true love, no laughter of your kid when you blow air out pressing your mouth against his belly, no wine, no abstinence, no life. No life. Only death, death again, everywhere, shapeless and senseless, like an abandoned field in a deep countryside, covered by fruitless weeds, even those bleak and dying in the late fall.
No, these things do not support me; they don’t empower my stature and don’t bring me courage to keep living. I need something more personal than that.
First, I found one day I was bored by fearing death. Nothing new, you know. It remains exactly as inevitable today as it was yesterday and the other day. Most people just get used to it; at this moment, already, the cold blind monster becomes no more fearful than a half-fake skeleton of a T-Rex always standing with the same blood-thirsty grin at the entrance to the Natural History Museum. You get used to it as if death was your a-bit-crazy old virgin neighbor, who call you names and shakes her walk stick in the air every time your kids have their football landed beyond her fence.
Then, I felt life was so much bigger, so much more important than death. Life is a segment of eternal timeline; although limited, it consists of an infinite number of wonderful moments. Any high school student will easily prove it to you, just ask one. Contrariwise, death is only a point on that timeline, a tiny, non-dimensional dot. I see this may look something similar to the sophistic cat-and-mouse game by the good old Greek; but, actually, the idea here is completely different. What I say is: live your life instead of fearing death. Living your life properly is a task so enormous, an exercise so rigorous that it simply does not leave you time and energy for foolish and childish things like being depressed or hating or, yes, fearing death.
Properly, in the end of the day, means happily.
Here it comes, my golden key. Live a happy human life. Do what you feel you were created for. Don’t leave behind a sad child uncomforted, a needy elderly not helped, a bad decision made out of fear or greed or anger. Live so that, at every single point of your infinite timeline, you are ready to look back where you have come from and smile happily. I have done what I should, you say. I chose everything as I believed was best. Death matters just nothing next to that magnificent satisfaction. You will laugh in her stumbled face.