“I knew a man who once said, ‘Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.'” These words were spoken by Russell Crowe in the movie “The Gladiator.” But of course, people don’t speak like this anymore.
Death is a mystery to us all. It’s termed as both ‘beautiful’ and ‘bloodcurdling’. It’s a word which makes even the bravest souls a puppet of cowardice. But what is death? Is it the beginning of a new life or is it the end?
Our society has always symbolized death with darkness, fright, coffins, scythes; but never with light, flowers or a smile. How can one know what death is unless they die? Death is a truth which we all have to face, a fact we all have to learn, and a dream we all have to live.
The moments which you live just before you die are the moments which reflect your whole life. Would you smile while looking at it or would your heart ache and your eyes shed tears? Would you be knocking on heaven’s door or burn in the fires of hell?
For me, Death is about looking at your whole life, hoping to live it again and undo the mistakes you’ve made. Death is about leaving a life behind and living again. It’s about lying on your death bed with no worries to corrupt your mind and no emotions to pollute your heart.
Life and death are two sides of the same coin. They can’t come at once but their existence is inseparable. Some get life and some get death. Some live every day and some die every day. Death frees you from this world but it also takes away your loved ones. Death means much more which no one of us will understand until we lie inside our coffin hoping to rise again.
But how do you know if your living mattered?
The number of people at your funeral with tears in their eyes and prayers on their lips and a hole in their heart will let you know that.
We all live once and we all die once, so why not just let our bodies die and not our souls. Let our sorrows die and not our happiness; let our hatred die and not our love. Because death is what you make of it; beautiful or ugly is on you.
[Nabeel Siddiqui (2015) is a graduate student in the Department of Commerce. He can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org]