When death takes you


How old were you when you first came to the realization that you were going to die? I’m not sure I can conjure adequately the words here, but thinking back, I would have placed my mood somewhere in the “oh shit” range. My brother told me that he remembers the thought, and how when it came to him, he broke down into tears.

Not that I’ve read it all, but I would venture to guess that not one page of humanity’s recorded history finds a being whose physical body has not returned to the earth. It’s this destination to which Emily Dickenson refers in her beautiful poem, “This Quiet Dust”

This Quiet Dust

By Emily Dickenson

This quiet dust, was gentlemen, and ladies,
And lads and girls,
Was laughter and ability and sighing,
And frocks and curls,
This passive place, a summer’s nimble mansion,
Where bloom and bees,
Fulfilled their oriental circuit,
Then ceased like these.

Whether your conviction is that you can control when you die or not, the matter is plain; one day, death will take you. And should there be someone on the other side, my thoughts are that she will ask you in earnest, “So, what did you do with the time that was given to you?”

And what will be your answer?


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