Death and dying

2015-11-30 12.47.12

One of the things that occurred to me, at the Ai Wei Wei exhibition I attended earlier this week is that the artist, pulling on the tail of a notoriously fickle tiger that is the Chinese State seems to have no fear of dying.

That though is probably over simplistic. Can we, any of us, really have no fear of it being arbitrarily imposed? I understand people can reconcile themselves to it after a long life. They can welcome it if ill or wasting in ways they find intolerable.

But a healthy person with so much still to do… how do they balance the wish to continue to live with the sangfroid that allows them to live in a ways that might accelerate their death?

Which it seems to me, is about principle. If you have such strong principles that you are prepared, truly prepared to die for them then yes you can live that way. Personally I’ve never had such principles. Or maybe it would be better to say I’ve never been put in a position where such principles are tested. And I suppose it is human to wonder how I would react? How noble or ignoble would be my reactions. I’d love to think I’d be the brave one but I rather suspect I’m in Spike Milligan’s camp

I’m not afraid of dying; I just don’t want to be there when it happens

This is part of Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday and Ronovan’s #BeWoW BlogShare

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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23 Responses to Death and dying

  1. I have long thought that those who live fully and embrace the challenges of life whatever they are – the ones who are considered brave or foolhardy or heroic by those of us who don’t – appear to have less [or no] fear of death………. Perhaps it is that they live so strongly and are completely involved in their lives and there is no time for sitting round feeling fearful. Conversely I also notice that those who try to control the world, other people and their own destinies and who live in fear and do nothing for fear of what might occur, also seem to have a heightened fear of death. Also, and I know this, if you have a near-death experience you can simply no longer fear dying. 🙂 It’s just that it is so very final and you can’t can’t return through that door.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Interesting post and quote. I think I’ve become less fearful as I’ve gotten older because my kids are now self-sufficient and I think I’ve had a good life…not ready to give it up yet, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. FlorenceT says:

    Yes, many (myself included) profess to our values, principles… are our convictions capable of action and participation? As you, I am privileged not to have had them tested.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. masgautsen says:

    Great post. It got me thinking!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was with both my parents when they died peacefully.. My mother and I talked about death when she reached her 90s and she said that it was not dying that frightened her but the manner of the death. Her wish was to stay at home and she did to the end. Most death on television,especially in shows like casualty, portray it in very dramatic terms with CPR, injuries and pain and suffering. We avoid talking about the subject and that adds to the fear. I have been on the edge myself a couple of times including during an anaphylactic reaction to fire ants in my mid 30s. I did have a renewed respect for life afterwards that is for sure. I feel I have had an amazing life but it does sadden me so much when young children or adults die not having had the experiences I have.


  6. Rachel M says:

    I think we get more afraid of death the nearer we get to it. There’s nothing like the fearlessness of youth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I suppose that is natural though both y grandmother’s seemed to become more relaxed as they aged. Both died quietly in their sleep so that may have had something to do with my memories of them


  7. I have been afraid of dying since I was a small child, and it has never left just got worse as I have got older. I am hoping it will go the other way now!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rogershipp says:

    Awesome…Thought-provoking post! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Norah says:

    I agree, Geoff. If I can possibly avoid being there, I will. I’m a bit of a coward really.


  10. Charli Mills says:

    Reminds me of the joke: “I want to die peacefully in my sleep like Grandpa, not screaming in horror like passengers in his car.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: #Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoW – The Weekly Wrap-Up from 12/2/15 | Silver Threading

  12. There is always more to do and more to live for. I think I’m in the Spike Milligan camp too, I’d rather be blissfully unaware when the moment comes…. Great quote.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great food for thought. I like the photos too. Well done. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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