Death — A New Beginning

The theory that death is an ending to life is an amassed belief for many people. For some, though, death is a passageway, a bridge, to a new life. Death is one aspect of the human the life that is uncontrollable. There are indeed ways one can lengthen their time on Earth by practicing good health and fitness, but death will come, whether we like it or not. Perhaps death should not be feared. Though it is a loss of life, it, in a sense, could be the birth of a new one.

I recently read a blog post on how one person yo-yoed between being faithful to God, and not believing in any part of God. This person turned to drugs, which eventually kicked her out of the Navy. She was admitted to rehab, became clean, got out, and turned to drugs again. It was death, the death of her brother, that turned her life around. The death of her brother got her to read a book written by a nun, confessing her wrongdoings. This person found a new life as a result of death. The death of this person’s brother in turn created a new life for her. She became a nun herself, as a result of death. Death created a new life for this woman.

My grandmother has been telling me about the Tao. To be honest, I couldn’t really give you a definition of the Tao, and I am not about to look up a definition because I honestly don’t think it can be defined. The Tao is a balance. When your life feels in balance, you are in touch with your Tao. Part of this belief is the theory that when you die, you become another organism. A tree, a bird, perhaps a butterfly. Some may condemn this, but I think it’s pretty neat. Anyways, this relates entirely to death becoming a new beginning. Who says you just rot in the ground when you die? Or that you will end up in so-called Heaven or Hell? An organism dying and becoming another organism is the passageway of death to a new life. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Death (Etymology)

death (n.)
O.E. deað “death, dying, cause of death,” in plura, “ghosts,” from P.Gmc. *dauthaz (cf. O.S. doth, O.Fris. dath, Du. dood, O.H.G. tod, Ger. Tod, O.N. dauði, Dan. død, Swed. död, Goth. dauþas “death”), from verbal stem *dheu- (3) “to die” (see die (v.)) + *-thuz suffix indicating “act, process, condition.”

Death’s-head, a symbol of mortality, is from 1590s. Death row first recorded 1940s. Death knell is attested from 1814; death penalty from 1875; death rate from 1859. Slang be death on “be very good at” is from 1839. Death wish first recorded 1896. The death-watch beetle (1660s) inhabits houses, makes a ticking noise like a watch, and is superstitiously supposed to portend death.

Inevitability of Death

The Great Native American Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh, once wrote a poem regarding the inevitability and the destruction of fear towards death.

 

“When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

 

I recently watched this film entitled “Act of Valor” illuminating the United States Navy SEALS and their constant sacrifices and acts of courage and bravery. Though fictional, the film was based on true operations and tactics f the SEALS. Once specific quote in the film really spoke to me in understanding the mentality of these warriors. This quotes reads, “If you fear death, you’re already dead.”. This quote also refers to Tecumseh’s poem. If one travels through life constantly fearing death, that person will look back on their life negatively, reminiscing on how they could have improved their quality of life. However, if one lives life without the fear of death in their minds, one will live life in the moment. In the SEALS’ case, these warriors cannot afford to fear death. They have to understand that death could come at any moment in any form. They know this, and are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for a cause in which they enforce.

Death is inevitable. It will happen to every human, animal, and plant. Every organism will die in some form or another. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated that “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”. Though perhaps extreme, my interpretation of Dr. King’s statement is that death will come eventually. Why not do something significant in your life. Your days are numbered. Make them count.

Mufti Menk on Death