death 2 - death 3

I believe in the immortality
of the soul because
I have within me immortal longings.


Helen Keller

   

There is, I know not how, a certain presage, as it were, of a future existence; and this takes the deepest root, and is most discoverable, in the greatest geniuses and most exalted souls.

Cicero

      

The idea of full dress is preparation for a battle comes not from a belief that it will add to the fighting ability.  The preparation is for death, in case that should be the result of the conflict.  Every Indian wants to look his or her best when they go to meet the Great Spirit, so the dressing up is done whether an imminent danger is an oncoming battle or a sickness or injury at times of peace.

Wooden Leg (Cheyenne)

  

Why shed tears that you must die?  For if your past life has been one of enjoyment, and if all your pleasures have not passed through your mind, as through a sieve, and vanished, leaving not a rack behind, why then do you not, like a thankful guest, rise cheerfully from life's feast, and with a quiet mind go take your rest.

Lucretius

   

It is equally pointless to weep because we won't be alive a hundred years from now as that we were not here a hundred years ago.

Montaigne

  

Master Tanzan, on the day of his death, called upon his assistant
to send a batch of identical postcards.  Each one said simply:
"I am departing this world.  There will be no further messages.  Tanzan."

traditional Zen story

  

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He is not dead, this friend; not dead,
Gone some few, trifling steps ahead,
And nearer to the end;
So that you, too, once past the bend,
Shall meet again, as face to face, this friend
You fancy dead.


Robert Louis Stevenson

  

Our creator would never have made
such lovely days and have given us
the deep hearts to enjoy them, above
and beyond all thought, unless
we were meant to be immortal.


Nathaniel Hawthorne

  
  
I am not going to die.  I'm
going home like a shooting star.

Sojourner Truth

  

Winter is on my head but eternal spring is in my heart.  The nearer I approach the end,
the plainer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me.
It is marvelous yet simple.  For half a century I have been writing my thoughts in
prose, verse, history, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode and song--I have tried all;
but I feel that I have not said a thousandth part of what is in me.  When I have gone
down to the grave I can say like many others, "I have finished my day's work," but I
cannot say, "I have finished my life's work"; my day's work will begin the next morning.
The tomb is not a blind alley.  It is an open thoroughfare.  It closes in the twilight but
opens with the dawn.  My work is only beginning; my work is hardly above its foundation.
I would gladly see it mounting forever.  The thirst for the infinite proves infinity.

Victor Hugo

  

The Reaper
and the Flowers

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.

"Shall I have naught that is fair?" saith he;
"Have naught but the bearded grain?
Though the breath of these flowers is
sweet to me,
I will give them all back again."

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves;
It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.

"My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,"
The Reaper said, and smiled;
"Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.

"They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
And saints, upon their garments white,
These sacred blossoms wear."

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again
In the fields of light above.

Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
'T was an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.
   
If we really believed that those who are gone from us were as truly alive as ourselves,
we could not invest the subject with such awful depth of gloom as we do.  If we could imbue
our children with distinct faith in immortality, we should never speak of people as dead,
but passed into another world.  We should speak of the body as a cast-off garment, which
the wearer had outgrown; consecrated indeed by the beloved being that used it for a season,
but of no value within itself.

Lydia Maria Child
  

It was not until after the coming of Christ that time and humans could breathe freely.
It was not until after him that people began to live toward the future.  Humans do not
die in a ditch like a dog--but at home in history, while the work toward
the conquest of death is in full swing; they die sharing in this work.

Boris Pasternak

  

Death stands above me, whispering low
I know not what into my ear;
Of his strange language all I know
Is, there is not a word of fear.

Walter Savage Landor

  

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People living deeply have no fear of death.

Anais Nin

  

The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the
feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar
to him or her alone and is therefore absolutely and irretrievably lost.

Artur Schopenhauer

  
If some persons died, and others did not die,
death would indeed be a terrible affliction.

Jean de la Bruyere
   

Life does not cease to be funny when
people die any more than it ceases 
to be serious when people laugh.

George Bernard Shaw

  
 

So proud she was to die
It made us all ashamed
That what we cherished, so unknown
To her desire seemed.

So satisfied to go
Where none of us should be,
Immediately, that anguish stooped
Almost to jealousy.

Emily Dickinson

 
Science says: "We must live," and seeks the means
of prolonging, increasing, facilitating and amplifying life,
of making it tolerable and acceptable;
wisdom says:  "We must die," and seeks how to make us die well.

Miguel de Unamuno
   
  

We find by losing.  We hold fast by letting go.
We become something new by ceasing to be something old.
This seems to be close to the heart of that mystery.
I know no more now than I ever did about the far side
of death as the last letting-go of all, but now I know
that I do not need to know, and that I do not need
to be afraid of not knowing.  God knows.
That is all that matters.


Frederick Buechner

   

Death is simply a shedding of the physical body,
like the butterfly coming out of a cocoon. . . .
It's like putting away your winter coat when spring comes.

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross

   

  
Death is by no means separate from life. . . . We all interact with death
every day, tasting it as we might a wine, feeling its keen edge even in
trifling losses and disappointments, holding it by the hand,
as a dancer might a partner, in every separation.

Eugene Kennedy
  

We treat death as a tragedy, as an ending of the good times.  But what if we
could think of it as it really is in nature, a process of physical change, an inevitable
transformation, something you cannot alter and so must accept?  Then it's possibleto look
directly at it instead of turning away in fear, to examine it instead of shunning it in denial.

Mark Forstater

   

  

Do not fear death, but welcome it, since it too comes from nature.  For just as
we are young and grow old, and flourish and reach maturity, have teeth and
a beard and grey hairs, conceive, become pregnant, and bring forth new life,
and all the other natural processes that follow the seasons of our existence,
so also do we have death.
   A thoughtful person will never take death lightly, impatiently, or scornfully,
but will wait for it as one of life's natural processes.

Marcus Aurelius

    
   

Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come,
and when death has come, we are not.

Epicurus

    

That day, which you fear as being the end of all things,
is the birthday of your eternity.

Seneca

death 2 - death 3

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
And Immortality.

Emily Dickinson

    




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Death is not the enemy of life, but its friend, for it is the knowledge
that our years are limited which makes them so precious. It is the truth
that time is but lent to us which makes us, at our best, look upon our
years as a trust handed into our temporary keeping.

Joshua Loth Liebman
   

We are born for a higher destiny than that of earth; there is a realm where
the rainbow never fades, where the stars will be spread before us like islands
that slumber on the ocean, and where the beings that pass before us
like shadows will stay in our presence forever.


Edward Bulwer-Lytton