Living on the Edge of Life
Cutting Cancer Down to Size

What Others Say About Death

Virgildeathquote

Compared to how I felt in the first couple of weeks following surgery (which was awful), I am more than pleased with how my recovery is going. However, about once a week, I have a bad night without a wink of sleep.

That happened to me Monday and today (Tuesday as I write this for Wednesday), I'm left with a brain too low-functioning to tackle anything that requires much thought or organization. So I'll let others do the speaking.

A cancer diagnosis certainly does focus the mind on the far end of life and I have been checking out what some people – ancient and modern, well-known and not – have had to say about it. Here are a few I have enjoyed pondering:

“We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears. We must not demean life by standing in awe of death.” – David Sarnoff
”Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.” - Andrew Sachs
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Theodore Geisel (Dr Seuss)
“A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.” – Stewart Alsop
”No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life.

"It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” - Steve Jobs (who died of pancreatic cancer in 2011, eight years after diagnosis)
”To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?” - Socrates
”Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” - George Bernard Shaw
“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That signifies nothing. For us believing physicists the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” – Albert Einstein
“I’ll bet in Heaven they have one single word that means ‘back when I was alive’. You know, to save time in meetings and stuff.” – Derek Littlefield

What about you? Do any of these speak to you? Do you have any you want to share with us?

Comments

I've had severe depression for the better part of the last 40 years. I'm still here, so it hasn't won, but it has made it something of an obsession to think about death. I have no idea what comes after death, since I'm not a believer in higher beings, but I don't think it's the actual death part that scares me. It's the dying part. The process terrifies me. I'm not going through a cancer diagnosis, and never have, so I can't pretend to understand how that feels, but I have lived with the specter of death due to mental illness for a very long time. I don't have any answers, only more questions. I really admire you for your candid and unflinching look into this. The Andrew Sachs quote really speaks to me. Something to ponder for awhile.

I well remember the first time I thought of death with terror ... back in my early college days when I was reading "Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man" (the Jesuit description of hell which has always teetered on the edge of my awareness, both in moments of belief and in those of disbelief).
The two citations that spoke to me were Sarnoff's and Socrates'.
Thank you, Ronni, and sogni d'oro tonight and all nights possible

Ronni, love Albert Einstein's provocative thoughts on the illusion of physical time, as well as Socrates's wise words.

I do have many quotes to share. Have spent my lifetime searching and studying. Here are three to take to the bank, if one is so inclined :)

“What you call death is merely the transformation of your own energy onto a sphere that cannot be perceived by the outer senses.”

"Existence is larger than life or death. Life and death are both states of existence. An identity exists whether it is in the state of life or in the state of death."

"The you that you consider yourself is never annihilated. Your consciousness is not snuffed out, nor is it swallowed, blissfully unaware of itself, in some nirvana."

The only thing I know for sure about what happens after anything living dies is that it decomposes. That is a certainty. This is one reason why I dislike the idea of being closed up in a casket and placed in something that is lined and sealed for eternity. Those chemicals should be contributing to something other than soiling the lining of an expensive receptacle.

A friend of mine who died of cancer a few years ago at age 67 was the first person I've known who had a natural burial. Although the site is on the grounds of a very fancy cemetery in the Chicago suburbs, the area dedicated to natural burials is up on a hill in a forested area where people can plant native plants and visiting there is rather like taking a walk in a forest preserve. The only grave markers are stones or other natural materials that blend in unobtrusively. I find it a very comforting place to visit. I know that this type of burial has become more common over the years, and the church that my in-laws attended all their adult lives had been given a large piece of natural land near the Mississippi River by a fellow member of their congregation, specifically for such burials. We would have liked to have explored this as a burial place for my husband's parents, but they had already purchased their plots in a cemetery in the little town where they lived all their lives, next to the plot where they had buried their first child, who did not live to come home from the hospital.

The entire death industry is one with which I am very uncomfortable, for a number of reasons, although I did enjoy, years ago, reading the insightful words of Thomas Lynch, an undertaker from a small town in Michigan.

I'm going with Dr. Suess.

Woody Allen I think said something like --I don't mind dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

All and all I feel I've had a good run and am thankful for having had the luck to live the life I lived.
So, I guess I am with Dr Suess. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Theodore Geisel (Dr Seuss)

If that is all there is -- well, ok.

If not---" We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. "
Joseph Campbell


Celebrating with Dr Seuss, yes but also choosing fearless thoughts with David Sarnoff. How very beneficent of you, dear Ronnie, to share your thoughts and experiences during this challenging and transforming time of your life....g
Good for you, Good for us.

I'm with Priscilla and Albert Einstein - have read and explored death/dying my whole life but put it aside 15-20 years ago. Two years ago my younger sister died and that opened that door again. I love the integration of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, reincarnation, and more recently quantum physics... Energy is constantly transforming, the biggest being Birth, Death, Birth, Death and on and on. But on reflection there are many transformations going on all the time. From childhood to adolescence, to adult, to mid-age, to old age. That we are the same person through all of that is an illusion.

All that said, I admit to moments of terror as I explore all this... I imaging all explorers share those moments.

Lately am exploring how we create our lives through Story which adds wonderful complexity to the process.

And I'm also with Cathy on the whole natural burial thing, and am looking at setting that up for myself. I love the whole Sense of being Recycled ✨ Huge topic at our ages Ronni, thanks for opening it up.

I've always liked the last verse of the Irish drinking song "Rosin the Bow."

I hear the old tyrant approaching
That cruel, remorseless old foe
And I lift up me glass in his honor
Take a drink with old Rosin the Bow.

I am nowhere ready for that but when the time comes--it is a nice image.

At 21 I had death, life, god, eternity all figured out. Today at 71 I have no effing clue. Some days I believe in an afterlife and some days I don't. Give me Dr Seuss. That says it best for me.

When I was just a kid, I had this thought about death that has stuck with me and still makes a lot of sense. It is that dying is just like being born. In the womb you have no idea what's about to happen...you're comfy and content but then all of a sudden you're inexorably propelled into ...life!...and the adventure begins. And, living, we have no idea of what death really entails but I like to think of it as moving into another reality ...to be explored and savored? Who knows. I like to think I am not afraid of death...but I'm sure not ready for it yet!

The main thing that bothers me about dying is knowing that there will be so many new and interesting things to see and do and here I am in a box.

So, Bill and Sam, best friends growing up, lived only for baseball. All through their lives they played and went to every game possible. They knew the history and stats on every player--ever!

As they get older, Bill tells Sam that no matter who goes first that guy needs to SOMEHOW get word back to the other left behind whether or not there is baseball in Heaven.

A few years go by and Sam is the first to go. Bill is left sad and lonely.

Not too long thereafter Bill hears a voice coming from the ether saying, "Bill? Bill?! Can you hear me?"

Looking around in awe, Bill yells, "SAM?! Is that you?!"

"Yeah, Bill. It's me! I have some good news for you and some bad news, Bill. The good news is that there IS baseball in Heaven! I'm playing in games everyday with the likes of Hank Aaron and Sandy Koufax and The Babe and Joe DiMaggio! They're all here, Bill! All of 'em! It's the best!"

"That GREAT, Sam! So what's the bad news?"

"Well, you're scheduled to pitch Thursday night..."

I like Albert Einstein's quote and Steven Jobs speaks to me.

I am relieved to know that I did not fear death when I thought it was imminent. I didn't believe I would be fearful before , but I didn't know if that's how I would feel when the actual time came. As I stated in the last post on death, I did have to deal with the knowledge that I would be no more.

I do not believe in an after life and I really wish I did. It would be comforting to think that there is some form of an after life. All religions have tried to answer this question to allay fear of death by tales of "what happens next". Many think they know when the last door is open but nobody knows. I just read Neil deGrass Tyson's book "Astrophysics for Busy People" and it furthered my belief that time is relative and it also furthered my belief that we are such insignificant beings. To me, it dispelled any lingering thoughts of a heaven unless our beings are magically transported to an undiscovered planet to begin the birth process all over again.


After living a full year with a series of life-threatening situations which involved numerous hospitalizations and seemingly never-ending complications, (gratefully cancer was not one of them) I somehow managed to become quite comfortable at the edge of death, which is of course, the edge of Life as well. I would say that Dr. Suess and Dr. Einstein are my favorite philosophers on the subject, while I vigorously disagree with Woody Allen. This year I am better and hope to stay that way for as long as possible, living every minute as fully as I can. About a year ago, you published a prose poem of mine titled "Ready or Not." It seemed to bring comfort to a lot of your readers, and still contains my best thoughts on the subject.

The death Theme
When I was eight years old, my father gave his movie projector to my 12-year-old cousin Johnny who lived upstairs in our apartment building. One day he decided to have a movie night for all of us cousins in the building. His parent in the living room were obviously oblivious. At first, it was the usual cartoons. Micky Mouse and the like and then he put in a movie called Camps of the Dead. A movie showing the Nazi camps being opened by American soldiers and their disbelief of what they found. I have no recollection of where he got this movie. Johnny was always out and about getting movies for his projector, Collecting Marylyn Monroe posters and Fats Domino records. He was a strange kid who grew up to be a quirky old man. As he lived without a car and had very little income. He died with a 45” record collection ( I mean every 45 that was ever made) and movie collection probably worth a million.

Mind you, I was eight years old. I was in shock. I don’t think I even knew about death at that age or even thought about it and this was my first introduction.

This movie seemed to be my theme in life because there has never been a day I didn’t think about dying. I'm sure if I haven’t seen this movie at such a tender age my life would have had a different theme.

I would rather think it helped my view as the years went by, I learned to be compassionate and more understanding of the fact that life is a fleeting thing and we are all very precious and vulnerable. I have tried to live my life as a generous person, helping wherever I could. I was grateful for having the freedom that many people all over the world completely lost. Even as a young girl I realized things can happen that are completely out of your control. I was always protecting myself in one way or another. OK, I'm controlling.

When I met my husband he introduced me to his parents. We went on a few vacations together and his father got to talking. To my amazement, he was one of the soldiers that opened the gates of one of those Nazi camps. A hero right before my eyes. On and off this theme shows up.

I do believe that once this heavy burden of living is lifted from our souls we are reborn into a blissful existence. I can't believe all those people died and got shit, nothing, nada. All I ask is to die in my own bed.
No, I won't want to leave, Maybe I’ll just get tired. I think of so many have gone before me in ways that are unthinkable. All over the world, today people are dying of war and starvation. Theirs gotta be some kind of reward.

Ronni, you're a tough gal. I know you have many more contributions to make. More than likely you’ll get those eight extra years that Steve Jobs got. I’m cheering for you. I’m so glad your up and about and driving too. Be careful.

Dr. Seuss says it for me. I embraced his quote some time ago, as it applies to so many good things in life that must come to an end.

As for death, well, that's not what I'm afraid of. Once I'm dead, I won't know about it. I'm an atheist, I'll opt for cremation, and I'll be stardust shortly thereafter. It's the dying part that scares me, and I've had some terrible nights worrying about it. Pain, loss of dignity, loss of self-determination ... I'd rather be dead.

I agree with Heidi - about dying being like birth. I am a retired mortician and at the funeral services the clergy always quoted may the Lord will be with you in your going out and your coming in....I think we are all "out" right now and will be "in" when we die. I also believe that it is multi- dimensional and depending on our personal enlightenment our beliefs are a particular way. After working in funeral service (which I will agree with Cathy is an "Industry"that one can tend to be uncomfortable with - pretty archaic when you really think about it!) I am not afraid of death, a little worried about the dying process and definitely can find reasons to be afraid of the living at times! Knowing that this will not last forever makes the "now" all the more precious. This is one of my favorites "On Death":...

Kahlil Gibran
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.


In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?


For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?


Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Oh, I'm keeping this one, and some of these are going in my journal. All I feel sure of is that death, moving into the next realm, whatever, it will definitely be an adventure! Out into the universe. Well, now scientists are referring to a multi-verse. It's all big, very big. Thank you for the Kahlil Gibran "On Death."

We are so fortunate to speak of these things here! How many people do you know with whom you can have a good "truth talk" about death. I'm privileged to know very few. I treasure this. I've started to think of senior moments as a softening, don't we have to soften in ways before we die?


the eternal question that changes as we grow and age. Evolving from the religious mindset to being an atheist, I now believe that the energy that is us, goes on to become another form of energy. I also wonder, if we are living in an environment that we perceive with our senses, but what if there are other senses, what if there is another existence that we cannot perceive with out current senses? In the years that I tried to perceive what heaven could be like, given the fact that no resource is available to confirm, should we ask Alexa? The best I could come up with is, the afterlife would be a place where you are able to do and enjoy all the things you had lost the ability to do in your lifetime. I was with my husband when he passed away, after many years of debilitating cancer, and as soon as he passed, I saw him jump up out of his body and run off to play baseball, with his catcher's mitt on, as he did when we were young. I hope that was true.


THE SPEAKER IS DEATH

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions. In a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, "Master, just now when I was in the marketplace, I was jostled by a woman in the crowd. When I turned I saw it was Death it jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me."

The merchant lent him his horse and the servant mounted it. He dug his spurs into its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.

Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, "Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning?"

"That was not a threatening gesture," I said, "it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

You might want to purchase "Light on Aging and Dying" quotes selected by Helen Nearing. Also, here is a poem by Christina Rosetti (1906) that I read to my mother when she was very old (but I hope you have many more years to live!):
Does the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting place?
A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labor you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yes, beds for all who come.

I just wanted you to know I have been reading your posts all along, though not necessarily making comments. How wonderful you are so articulate and of a mind to write about all you have been through, your emotions, your thoughts, your spirit and spiritual inclinations. Many people, myself included, are not able to put things into words as clearly as you can. You are so generous really to share your journey. Yes, at this point in life death does enter my thoughts and surely many others our age. Wonderful quotes you have given. Things to ponder. We dont talk enough about death, I think. That includes me. I wish i had talked more with my Mom, who I cared for in her last year, about death. We were a medical family and my Dad was a pathologist so I "knew" about death from an early age.

I would most like to explore the Buddhist perspective on death and have always admired the Buddhist hospice programs and hope if I have a lingering death I can be in one. Not that I believe in Karma and/or that we will return to another life if we die unenlightened.

Not that aspect. But the Buddhists, to me, have such a realistic and practical way of being with people who are ill and /or dying and that appeals greatly to me.

Blessings, Susan POpe

What wonderful, interesting, thoughtful comments! Your blog is such a catalyst for thought--thank you!

Having lost a son, partner, father, and now a youngest brother, I think the Dr. Seuss quote says it best for me:
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Theodore Geisel

After my son died, my mother sent me the Bertrand Russell quote , ”Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” This I've had posted on my bulletin board for years--and it's a favorite.

When my husband died, for many days, weeks even, it was as if there was a tight, thick band, stretching tighter and even more tight But then, slowly it began to relax and eventually the thick band slipped away.

This dear person and others I cherish have gone ahead. If there is another chapter, I'm grateful to know they are experiencing it and I can only think, "I'll be along, wait for me!"

Nevertheless, I'm still in this world and like the others here who are contemplating the future, It is not time yet, so we continue with our lives.

Even tho the actuarial tables say I'm getting pretty close, I just don't dwell on the prospect of death.

There's still living to be done.

I was care taker for my husband as he died slowly from Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was at home on hospice for 18 months. It was his wish to be at home and it was my honor to help him through the months of care. If he was afraid of death he did not express it to me, his wish towards the end was that he could control the timing of his death. He spend a great deal of mental energy researching how he could starve himself to death. The hospice people would not help him do that but also said they would not stop him. Dying from respiratory failure is not easy and can be very slow but without much physical pain. There is no medication that cures IPF although now there is one that can delay its inevitability. While he wished to try that I suspect that he might not have done so had it been available during the last few months of his life. He did not consider a lung transplant because of his age and the fact that his disease was very advanced by the time it was diagnosed. To me the sad thing is that he had no control over his dying. This is what he very much wished to have. While he did not have pain in the ordinary sense of that terms - he had psychological pain knowing that he had no control over what was happening to his body. He was able to die at home as he wished, visit with his sister who lived abroad, and with his children both of whom also lived at great distance. When he died his older son was at this bedside. My deep regret was that he felt frustrated by his inability to control when and how he died. Death comes to us all - and what is needed is the ability to control that when we are ill and there is now cure for whatever disease or disability we may have. That is cruel.

Agreeing with those who have commented that it is not the 'being dead' that is scary as much as the process of getting there, I share the following. The same book contains a number of other excellent, pithy little poems.

SMALL COMFORTS

Before I was born, I seemed to be
Contented with being non-be-able;
So after I'm gone, it seems to me
My lot should be not less agreeable.

From _Rhymes for the Irreverent_
by E. Y. Harburg

I agree with many of the responders and especially E.Y.Harburg. But some years ago a friend defined death as 3 a.m. and sound asleep.

Back again to mention a lovely quote - one I don't remember where it came from...but I jotted the words down in my journal -

"I'm not gone, I'm just not here"

Thank you Ronni and everyone for this blog. I have been following for about 5 years but don't comment much. I have found much here to help me navigate my life as i age.

Marya

The heat wave we're experiencing motivated a brief conversation with a friend about an elderly woman who was 'rescued' from unconsciousness brought on from heat stroke even though she had a POLST on her refrigerator. She was angry because she said she was in a lovely place and would have preferred to stay there.

That's a pretty nice reference, so perhaps when I'm tired enough, I'll just go outdoors during a heat-wave, and take a nap. It appears there will be no shortage of opportunity in the years to come.


Wonderful, Ronni and friends who commented.

I liked all the quotes, but Andrew Sachs' touched me. I've known so many who never lived.

Ronni - I am so glad you are posting along these lines even though it might be difficult for you. It does sound like you've gone through the worst of it and are now coming out on the healthier side.

My partner, I fear, will not be so lucky as he was recently diagnosed last month with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which has spread throughout his entire body. We do not know his prognosis or treatment at this time.

So, I, for one will be reading your blog and know that you are touching at least one person in this great blogosphere. I thank you for that.

I have started to ponder death and it has made me more aware that I must LIVE until I die. Relish everyday.
Thank you Ronni for going to places that few dare to discuss. It's a great thing to share our inner most feelings about life and death.
Blessings to you.
.

It's wonderful to read today's blog, Ronni, and all the comments. Thank you.

I'll add one that I found comforting when my younger sister died suddenly (age 72) one and a half years ago in Montana. It was up to me to provide an obituary for the local paper in Ventura, California where she grew up and lived for many years. I added this quote at the end of her obituary.

I am fully convinced that the soul is indestructible, and that its activity will continue through eternity. It is like the sun, which, to our eyes, seems to set in the night; but it has in reality only gone to diffuse its light elsewhere. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Where do we come from? Where do we go?

Have you discovered "Ask a Mortician" yet Ronni?

You Tube carries Caitlin Douertys vidéos and watching them prompted be to buy her book-just for fun!
She is full of information on death, the history of all things burial, green burials etc.
It's given me a certain freedom from fear of death, watching them.

I suggest them to all seniors prior to buying burial insurance, expensive plots etc.

When my husband died, I was inundated with phone calls from funeral directors-the day after his death! The pressure to buy an expensive casket/plot etc 'in his honor' etc was disgusting. As though he'd care that point.

Fortunately we had discussed this ahead of time -at his request I donated his body to OHSU-they used him for teaching doctors. Perhaps the doctors who did your cancer surgery, as he's was a diabetic and they do a great deal of examining of the pancreas in diabetics. About a year later, I recd his 'cremains' in a plastic bag inside a cardboard box. Didn't cost me anything and he rec'd what he'd wanted.

I decided to request the same thing for myself. My sons were shocked!, My daughter understands so she got appointed as the decision maker.

Be well, sweetie.
Elle

"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” - George Bernard Shaw

I just hope I can continue to find some degree of humor in what's going on around me throughout my final days.

You continue to have a way with words. Glad you're able to get so much rest. Have occasional nights I don't sleep either. Who knows what that's all about.

"Death is not extinguishing the light,it is only putting out the lamp because
dawn has come."__Rabindranath Tagore

I'm with Woody Allen on this one: "Life is full of misery, loneliness and suffering, and it's all over much too soon."

A friend of mine, when she turned 65, read The Tibetan Book of Death. I just read a review of Edwidge Danticat's "The Art of Death" which I think I may read. I think I'm going to check out those youtube videos mentioned above!

My long time favorite. You gotta love the imagery. I memorized this when a teenager eons ago:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. - WS

"I'm only afraid because I haven't done it before." Carmella Valenti at 93 (grandma)

Dear Ronni - have always been interested in the big question - What next? But this year more than ever after having a mastectomy - so thank you for all those quotes- particularly liked Socrates but also Grandma Carmella!!! Many thanks for the conversation - much love and healing thoughts Jeanette


“Sometimes people ask you: "When is your birthday?" But you might ask yourself a more interesting question: "Before that day which is called my birthday, where was I?"

Ask a cloud: "What is your date of birth? Before you were born, where were you?"

"If you ask the cloud, "How old are you? Can you give me your date of birth?" you can listen deeply and you may hear a reply. You can imagine the cloud being born. Before being born it was the water on the ocean's surface. Or it was in the river and then it became vapor. It was also the sun because the sun makes the vapor. The wind is there too, helping the water to become a cloud. The cloud does not come from nothing; there has been only a change in form. It is not a birth of something out of nothing.

Sooner or later, the cloud will change into rain or snow or ice. If you look deeply into the rain, you can see the cloud. The cloud is not lost; it is transformed into rain, and the rain is transformed into grass and the grass into cows and then to milk and then into the ice cream you eat. Today if you eat an ice cream, give yourself time to look at the ice cream and say: "Hello, cloud! I recognize you.”

“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies all manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh

it is refreshing to read so many people talking openly about death.
In my country you do not do it, it is almost rude and taboo even though we all know it is the only sure thing we have in life!
I am not afraid of dying, I just do not want to suffer, to hurt, physically and mentally, to be scared, like when you die in an airplane crash!
Getting old is much tougher and difficult.
Love Ronni, get better soon

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