Thinking About The End

Fantasia Painting(2)

Death comes to all of us—eventually. Unless you’re of the biblical school of thoughts, then maybe you’ll live to see the rapture. Otherwise, death comes and it’s an end we all have to face.

I find the thought of this mortality amusing—I’ve said this before and got called a weirdo, but think about it. If we get to think about where we will like to be in the nearest or farthest future, if we are advised that the most effective way to ensure that we reach our dreams without giving up is to see where it all ends every time, then why shouldn’t we pay attention to our ultimate end which is guaranteed?

Yet people fear death. It’s the reason so many out there want to be immortalized in their children… I think it’s a biological order. Man forms community, chooses a mate and procreate to ensure that his genetic line continues to live long after he is gone. Animals—Lions in particular—kill off the cubs of the former leader of the Pride to ensure his offspring repopulate the feline nation. In life we’re still thinking about living longer than our mortality will allow. It’s like some kind of contingency plan against the inevitable. It’s the reason we feel remorse for one who has passed away, offering respect to the deceased we never knew like we’re appealing to Death to come for us at a much later date.

But death shouldn’t be something we dread; on the contrary we should encourage active discussions. And by discussion I don’t mean talking about it when we’re old and tired of this world; I mean thinking and talking it when we have everything to live for. We should take living everyday like it’s our last quite literally. We should even discuss the various means by which we could leave this world—as dreadful as some of it might seem. But most important, we need to think of the people we will leave behind and our legacy when it’s over… whenever it’s over.

A week ago I woke up to news of the death of a vibrant young man who allegedly slipped in the bath and died. I am privileged to have worked with him in the past and if there was something I loved, it was his jovial nature. The news got out and there was nothing but love from those who knew or were opportune to have read something he’d shared. I spent the rest of the day thinking of what will happen if people learn of my death. You should think that, too. Hopefully you do. Then I asked my sister what would happen if we both knew I’d die that night and she said, “We’ll spend the night awake; no sleeping for you.”

So there are a number of reasons for our fear of the inevitable. We fear the life we’ll have when the people we love are gone; we fear the life they will have when we are gone; we fear we will never be the person we want to be if we die now. We fear we haven’t lived enough. But we don’t have to be afraid, or death has the upper hand. We just have to embrace the truth of our very finite existence so it takes away the element of surprise.

How?
Think of the end. Talk about the end with people you love. Live well. Leave good. Perhaps this is a better contingency plan.

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33 thoughts on “Thinking About The End

    • uju May 28, 2016 / 12:40 pm

      It’s a beautiful poem you wrote, Judith.
      You’re not crazy for thinking about death, it’s presence is as much a part of our lives.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. olisakwerah May 23, 2016 / 4:29 am

    Einstein said “the fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears ‘cos there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead”.

    You have a unique way of balancing your points. I totally agree with your reasons for our fear of the inevitable. I’ll just add ‘the fear of the hereafter’; most people in this parts are worried about where they’ll spend the afterlife.

    Back in college, I spent part of a long vac with a close friend’s family and met his maternal great-uncle. Very funny old man who dreaded death so much that he stopped sleeping at night. He begged them to wake him immediately they see him sleeping during the day. On one occasion he woke up, checked the time, realized he had slept for some hours and started shouting: ” You people are wicked! Look how long you let me sleep. What if I had died?” I was torn btw mild amusement and pity. He passed a few weeks after we resumed 🙂

    Uju, I saw this post coming & it was worth the wait. #sorry about ur friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • uju May 28, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      I can just imagine the man afraid to go to sleep 😀

      “…no risk of accident for someone who is dead”
      hmmm that’s something to think about.

      Thanks for sharing, Olisa

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dickson May 21, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    Last year, my dad lost his imediate younger brother. He was someone everyone in the family loved.
    We could gist for hours on end. We all had fond memories of him.the day he was buried, after the burial, when all was done and dusted, we were in my dad’s room gisting at night and suddenly, it began to rain terribly.
    I told my mum that our late uncle was down on the ground ….6 feets below at the cemetery.
    He was alone. We had all left him. At that moment I recalled how he was dressed when we went for his body collection in the mortuary. Only dad, a cousin and I could enter. The rest were scared to enter the morgue. He was dressed in white with white gloves and he held his hands together as though he was expecting to receive something. He was helpless.
    That image helps me remember how limited we are as mere mortals. We are limited in scope, depth and even existence cos someday, we all will depart the earth. This fact helps me live at peace with self and fellow man…..
    Uku this was a nice article..keep it up

    Liked by 1 person

    • uju May 21, 2016 / 9:07 pm

      My condolences, Dickson.
      I love that you have fond memories of your uncle, and more that you can put his death into perspective.
      “We are limited in scope, depth and even existence cos someday, we all will depart the earth. This fact helps me live at peace with self and fellow man.”
      Your closing lines is perfect. We are limited as people– by time. The best way to live is to always remember that.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your story 🙂

      Like

  3. Ifunanya May 21, 2016 / 7:18 am

    death is sort of a ‘taboo’ topic to me lol. I usually not talk about it because who knows ‘it just might hear you’ But reading your piece, I’ve to realise, yet again that whether i talk about it or not, It’s bound to happen. So as your post opens my eyes again to the truth i like to run away from- I’ll live life while I have it.
    ps- My middle name is uju!

    Like

    • uju May 21, 2016 / 11:08 am

      Hi Ifunanya, death is a taboo topic for many of us– it’s all part of that fear we speak of. But like the article says, it’s nothing to fear 🙂 Death will come and the best we can do is live our acknowledging it’s existence and planning for it.

      Lol nice to know we share a name. Live to the fullest like it suggests 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • uju May 21, 2016 / 10:15 am

      Glad it does 🙂
      Perhaps you could share some of your thoughts once they’re ripe.

      Like

  4. Sparkyjen May 16, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    I don’t think about death to any great extreme, nor do I worry about the death of loved ones. I know it will happen eventually, and so prefer to live life like it’s golden while I’m here in body. It’s part of the journey, and when the journey comes to an end, I don’t want to spend my last few moments kicking and screaming. I suppose I’ll be missed, but what can I do about that if I’m not? I like growing older, and thankfully maturing nicely. When it is time for my spirit to rejoin the natural order, I’m cool with it. Peace Be Still.

    Liked by 1 person

    • uju May 21, 2016 / 10:14 am

      Hi Jen, it’s nice to know that while you acknowledge that death is something that will come, you don’t let it paralyze your living nor that of your loved ones 🙂

      “what can you do about it if you’re not missed?”
      Nothing, really. But it would be nice to have people or someone think fondly of you while you’re away. And one thing I’ve come to know is that people remember how you’ve made them feel and tend to treat your family in like manner.

      Peace.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Charles Chidera May 11, 2016 / 9:01 am

    Death as they said is inevitable. No matter how we run, one day we will still seize to breath. What is remain will be our achievement , something we did while alife. You can’t bribe death.

    I like the reply your sister gave but even if we are awake all night, when death comes nothing can stop it from striking.

    To people out there; ask yourself some questions about the way you live your life and how it affect life around you. Do something that will benefit others so that when you are there no more, things you did while alife will always speak of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • uju May 12, 2016 / 12:12 pm

      well said, Charles.
      But like Timi said, the inevitability of the end shouldn’t deter us from living every last minute.

      Like

  6. livelytwist May 7, 2016 / 11:38 pm

    My condolences Uju.

    Some sensible advice in there Uju. I like your sister’s take about staying up all night. There’s the danger of complacency for some- if I’m going to die anyway, why bother?

    Liked by 1 person

    • uju May 9, 2016 / 10:12 pm

      Thank you, Timi.

      Yeah complacency. Hopefully people will find a reason to do something worthy of being left behind irrespective of the assurance of an end.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. George May 7, 2016 / 5:55 pm

    One of the more insightful and intelligent thoughts about death and life that I’ve read.
    Death has always fascinated me in different ways. The problem is most people refuse to speak about it or do it in generic terms without making it personal. Fear takes over, fear of all the things you mentioned and those that are more personal to each individual. Bit your focus on life and what can and should matter today is really where the focus should be, what the discussion should be about.
    Another great piece, uju. Great to see you again..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • uju May 9, 2016 / 10:10 pm

      Thanks George.
      You should see how people shush a person who brings up any discussion about death and how they cross themselves 😀
      You’ll think the crucifix drives death away, and yet it’s more a constant than change is.

      Good to see you again 🙂

      Like

  8. Kachi May 7, 2016 / 10:55 am

    I think why a lot of people fear death is because of the convenience of the familiar. This life, this present state, is what we know, what we have, and what we believe.

    So it becomes (very?) scary when the thought of leaving it to an unfamiliar territory – heaven, hell, purgatory, void space, vortex of endless wandering and possibly another life itself – envelopes us. Coupled with the fact that it is uncertain. No time to “prepare”

    This is primarily why I consider people who commit suicide the bravest. It may come as weird, but how how do you decide to just give up the tangible for ‘nothing’?

    But hopefully, (as I believe) Heaven is real and the belief in Christ saves us from eternal damnation and gives us a whole new life after death.

    Liked by 2 people

    • uju May 9, 2016 / 10:05 pm

      That’s a good angle you bring, Kachi. Dealing and leaving the convenience of the familiar and finally getting to ‘test’ your faith.
      Is there really eternity of life?
      What exists after life?
      What if it’s all void?
      I share your thoughts about suicidal people– bravery is all there is to go into the void without the certainty of light.

      Thanks for coming 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. makagutu May 6, 2016 / 10:08 am

    Live well, live good and when death shows up, welcome him with grace

    Like

    • uju May 7, 2016 / 9:13 am

      Simple. 🙂
      Death is the next big adventure– getting to see what’s on the other side; if there’s another side.

      Like

      • makagutu May 9, 2016 / 6:32 am

        death, they say is the great equalizer.

        Like

  10. Chuma May 6, 2016 / 8:54 am

    I think people fear death because they are scared they haven’t done enough or achieved everything they wanted to achieve. And that’s scary.

    There are old people who live to be quite old and seeing their kids and family successful ‘welcome death as a friend’ (to quote the Harry Potter series).

    Liked by 2 people

    • uju May 7, 2016 / 9:12 am

      I suppose that’s a legitimate fear in a way. But if a person lives each day, getting a step closer to purpose (whatever that is), helping others and just living a relatively good life, then there’ll be little to worry about what it’s all over.

      P.S This post reminds me of Linkin Parks’ Leave Out All The Rest.

      Like

  11. That Random Guy May 5, 2016 / 11:54 pm

    Please read my blog too and a poem on death too..

    http://wp.me/p7nwRE-2A

    I am waiting for your reviews as i found your blog quite good.

    Liked by 1 person

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