Fear not Death
Donald P. Goodman III
As we stood there beside his body, cold and dead, near every comer said he was too young to die. Near every visitor, as bitter tears he shed, repeated near verbatim this most pointless lie. Too young to die? Too young for whom? Too young for death? The Reaper never waits until the wheat matures, but cuts just as he pleases, taking life and breath, and heedless of the lack or presence of our cures. Too young to die? Alas, we do not make the call on who will be releas'd and who more life endures. What shall we do? Flee headlong, lest death us befall? Let life, as long as possible, our souls enthrall?
For ere long, we will also feel that icy blade the Reaper bears to execute his morbid chore; and all those left forget us, or themselves are made to walk the path the living fear, and so abhor. Our friends and family follow us along the way, and soon there are none left who will our absence mourn; our children are themselves the harvest, and one day, the world appears as if we never had been born. Our image lingers nowhere; we do not persist, no more than after sunset still persists the morn. How long do ripples on the surface still exist? Do they live on in hearts? Are they forever miss'd?
So goes the flesh of man; indeed, so goes mankind, and all the works we raise like Babel to the sky; why grow, when scythe and sickle must us always find? Why stand, when in a wink we in the ground will lie? Or are we more than ripples, more than rise and set? Our works will fall, as will our flesh; but must we, too? When we lay down our bones in ground and life forget, can light survive when sun has set, and shine anew? For death itself must one day die; we only wait, rememb'ring that our death and sorrow but renew. Embrace our sorrow! Fear not death! 'Tis but the gate which leads us to our long-appointed, joyful fate!