DeathA Story by Delicate Grace
Had to redefine a word in which we challenged the dictionary's definition. This led to my final term paper in my freshmen English class in college.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines death as: a permanent cessation of all vital functions; the end of life. This definition is one of concrete medical value; it defines none of the mystery that keeps us interested in the subject. “It is largely due to the need for transplant organs that death has been so precisely defined.” ("Free Dictionary") As a fact of life, humanity can accept that death is going to happen despite our efforts to outrun it and escape this enviable truth our future holds. Benjamin Franklin said, “nothing is certain, but death and taxes”. We all know that when one’s body is no longer able to sustain life, we die; therefore why would there be so much mystery, folklore, superstition, wonder and fear surrounding death if it were really that simple?
The truth is, the only certainty death holds for us is that it’s going to happen. However, we have no guarantees as to what happens after death. Something that is so definite should be as concrete as its definition, but looking at the surrounding aspects, we can see it is not. “Man naturally fears what he does not understand and can not control.” (“The Psychology of Death”) Therefore we all shroud ourselves in a false sense of security that leaves us thinking we are prepared for the unknown with our beliefs about heaven and hell, reincarnation, the reunification of the soul to Gaia, or what have you. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, spirits or the ‘here after’, most people will admit that by keeping our memories of the dead alive, they never truly leave us. Marcus Tulius Cicero, a roman politician and orator of 106-43 BC, said, “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” So in the event that one believes in body and soul, does the soul cease to exist as well, or will there always be a part of us preserved that will never die?
© 2010 Delicate Grace
Shelved in 1 LibraryAdded on October 25, 2010
Last Updated on October 25, 2010
AboutWell, basically I have about a million different stories, poems, and comics fluttering around the inside of my head. I try not to limit myself to one or two genres of writing, but I do prefer the genr.. more..