Understanding Death

Updated: Nov 3, 2019


"Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which cannot exist when I do?" ~ Epicurus

Death. It is a funny old thing. It is something that is destined to happen to every single one of us at some stage in our lives. As much as we do not want it to happen, it will. We do not know when or how long we have on this planet, which is why we are constantly being told to live our lives to the full. For some, this is easy. For others, this is more difficult.


But what really is death? I mean, it is something that is going to happen to us all, yet none of us actually know what death is. I think with pretty much everything we have to go through in life, there is always someone else who has been through it and who can tell you what to expect. But there is no one who has experienced death who can tell us what to expect. Yes, there are some people who claim to have experienced death in one form or another, however, how do we know that they actually experienced death how we are all going to experience it? Was their 'death' actually death or was it just another version and what we will all eventually experience is nothing like their experience?


It is not necessarily the fear of the unknown that scares me about death. What scares me is the fact that being me is the only thing I have ever known. When I die will I still be able to be me? Even though I am dead, will I go to an after life where I am still able to be me, just not where I can actually be seen by those who are still alive? Or when I die will I just be nothing but a lifeless body that is either put in the ground or cremated? Is this what has happened to those who are already dead? Are they still them but we just cannot see them but will be able to be reunited with them one day? Or are they just bodies lying in the ground or burnt to ashes? I guess we will never know.


I think I wrote about this in my 'All About Me' post, but for those of you who did not already know, I sadly lost my Grandad in 2015 after he had had some trouble with his lungs and his breathing, which he had had a problem with for a couple of years, but sadly got worse in the last few months before he died. I also lost my Great-Grandma in 2004 to breast cancer. One of the things that a lot of people say as a comfort to those who have recently lost a loved one is that they are no longer in pain. Sure, whether you believe in an after life or not, your loved one is, technically, no longer in pain. But is this really the case? If there is an after life, are they still able to remember the pain they were in? Are those who, before they died, could hardly walk able to run again? Or are they the same as how we remember them? I guess that is another thing that we will never know.


One thing that we all know is inevitable when it comes to the death of someone is the grief we all go through. One thing I noticed when my Grandad died was that it felt like a little piece of me died too. This man who had been constantly in my life since the day I was born was no longer there and I had no idea how I would actually feel when this did eventually happen until the day he actually died. It literally felt as though a tiny piece of my heart had been taken from me when I was told he had passed away. Even four years on it still feels as though that tiny piece of my heart was the one piece that was holding me together and now that it has gone, I am a broken version of myself that has never been the same since he died.


We can all say that when a loved one dies we are not going to cry, when in reality we cry a river. We can all say we will be able to carry on our lives as normal, when in reality we spend every single second thinking about what happened and due to this do not put as much effort into our work as we normally would have done. This is death. As when someone we love dies, a piece of us dies with them. This is why in the time after a loved ones death we do not seem to be able to function as normal because while they were here, everything was normal, but now they are gone, everything is abnormal. And what happens when we notice that things are abnormal? We do not know how to function. We try and act like we know what we are doing and like nothing is wrong, when in reality we have no idea what we are doing and are just making it up as we go along.


So what is death? To me, death is not just when someone dies. Death is when someone dies and a little piece of you dies with them. When someone you love dies, your life is never going to be the same again. In the few weeks/months after someone dies, you always think that you can just go to their house or walk into a room and you will see them. Unfortunately this is not true. What you see instead is an empty chair where they should be sitting. This is death. Death is not saying goodbye to them at their funeral and thinking you will never have to deal with the loss of that person ever again. Death is constantly expecting to see someone or hear their voice and then feeling your heart dropping when you realise that these two things are never going to happen again.


So what is death do you? What do you understand death to be? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please comment them down below on what your views on death are and what you think happens to us when we die.


Love Beth xx

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