Death Musings


Some ask, “What is the meaning of life?” I ask, “What is the meaning of death?”

Is it the end of flesh and breath and blood? Or is it the conclusion of spirit?

Is death absolute and solid, or a gradual state of varying degrees? Must it be final and irreversible? Or is it an aspect that comes and goes, dominates for a moment subsides the next?

Do we slide into death by default, as part of our pre-programmed course of existence? Or does death befall us by an intention, an overt and concerted act which ends life? Can it be because of both reasons? Can we ever know? Does it even matter?

When death strikes the spirit, must the body follow? Can a being continue on for long while dead inside? Does corporal survival matter at that point? When death smites the body, is the spirit concluded, or does it still linger? Does death of the body destroy, or free, our true selves?

Is death an abomination, a monstrous force ripping asunder the pure, blemishless artistry of creation, cruel as it is unnatural? Or is it a natural occurrence, part of the forever-established order of the universe, an integral component of concluding its old chapters and beginning its new?

Without end, can there be a beginning? Without loss, can gain be felt? Without darkness, can the sunset’s glowing rays be distinguished from the blank whiteness of absolute, unyielding light? Free of the memory of hatred and solitude, how can we even know the salvation of love and companionship? How, without tears, can we experience tears of joy? If a story never ends, can a new one ever begin? Without death’s many conclusions, would the fable of life stumble endlessly forward like a reanimated cadaver, soulless and rotting, consuming all fresh existence before it? Does death not prune the withered branches of the tree of life itself, preventing all living from atrophying into desolation?

Without death, of what meaning is life?

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.