Death and All of His Friends

There have been several deaths of famous people in the past few weeks the most prominent being Philip Seymour Hoffman and Shirley Temple Black and of course Nelson Mandela at the end of 2013.

The reality is there are a lot of people dying every day.  They do not get a news headline or an obituary in the New York Times.  Some pass with family and friends surrounding them.  Some die alone.

Some die as the result of needless violence and vengeance.  Some inherit or develop a disease for which there is no cure.

I have started thinking about how death affects life.  I think perhaps understanding death is an important aspect of understanding life.

I am not belittling death or the circumstances which surround it.  Death is a terrible thing and needless death is incomprehensibly evil.

But I think we live in a culture that fears death when we should be embracing it.

I am not suggesting we make the death of those around us a cheerful occasion nor am I saying that we should seek death out.  Both of those things would be disrespectful and inappropriate. But I think we need to live knowing that death is ever present.

We need to remember that life is precious and every bit of every single person’s life on this planet matters.

I know there are a lot of arguments for and against what I’m saying.  But for me personally, I want to live my life knowing that death is an essential part of life.

Through death we understand what is most important to us; through death we see the world in a different perspective.

And maybe, just maybe, it is through death’s lens that we truly see the beauty of life.

*The title of this blog is taken from Coldplay’s song of the same title.

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