Thank God for Death!

By Austin B. Hahn

Have you ever hated someone so much that you wanted to kill them or wished they were dead? Well you don’t have to. Time will get them for you. As each year goes by, they get closer to Death. You don’t have to do anything. They get older each minute.

Sick of your wife nagging you on Christmas Day to spend time with your in-laws? No problem. Death can take her away. Wanting revenge after someone wronged you? Don’t sweat it. Death will arrive at their doorstep one day. Tired of watching your loved one suffer through chemotherapy? No worries. Death will take care of them. Medicine can treat pain, but Death has the ultimate power to liberate us from our bodies and free us from any chronic illness.

We as human beings should be thankful for all aspects of the life cycle, including Death. If it wasn’t for Death, life as we know it would become stale. The conditions that we were born into, such as our ethnicity, genes, national origin, and who our parents and siblings are, would forever remain the same.

Some perceive the loss of a loved one as a tragedy. However, I believe that a life lived, no matter how short, is an accomplishment. Living takes courage, and there’s no guarantee that our lives will reach fulfillment; we’re only assured that Death awaits us. Like Karma, as an inevitable force of nature, Death does not have a deadline. Death is uncertain. We have to love our family and friends today and maintain enough detachment so we’re not taken by surprise if they are gone tomorrow. The loss of a loved one is not a time to mourn, but a time to celebrate their life. Since no one lives eternally, we must not forget the importance of rejoicing in the moments we shared with them and that shedding tears upon their passing is healthy, but crying a river will not bring them back.

We seem to have little understanding of a person’s worth when they’re alive. We commodify what they owned in life, marvel at their accomplishments, and reminisce about the pleasant times, but we rarely tell them all we want to say when they’re alive, so we end up writing a eulogy they’ll never hear. We’ll start to miss their quirks that once annoyed us. We’ll think of them when we pass by their favorite restaurant. We’ll play a song that matches the emotions in our heart when we think about them. We’ll even sometimes pretend they’re still alive after watching a video of them, but they’re gone . . .

We may never know what more they could have done with their life, but one thing is certain: because of Death, they can’t be hurt anymore. There’s no more suffering. There’s no more struggle. There’s no more pain. Everything is quiet.

All we can do now is keep some mementos of this person for memories.

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