A stoic view on death

Take a deep breath. Now imagine watching your interesting show at a movie theater or at your comfort at home. Several minutes or hours later, the show ends. Similar to the TV show, our lives will have to come to an end. Unlike the TV show, the end time of our life is not known; it can be today, tomorrow, a week from now,  one, ten, or forty years.

Why then do we fear death? It is not death that we fear rather it is our opinion that makes us believe death is a negative transition. Remember Socrates, Pythagoras, Epictetus, and Plato-their powerful minds-all of them died. We must all go there.

Below is my summary on death; similar to Marcus’ Meditations.

  1. Remember how short our life is. A few years ago, I wasn’t around, and again in a few years, i will be gone.
  2. Death is like a group of friends taking different trains from Milan to Paris at different times of the day. They will reach the same destination but at different times.
  3. To accept that I will die before my family, friends, and relatives or they will die first. To always kiss goodbye to my family, relatives, or friends as that might be the last time I might be talking to them.
  4. Death is a change process. I was born as a child,  not able to walk or talk, a few years later, I was able to go to school and study, and in a few years, I will be old and ready to depart. Is that not a change?
  5. Not to grieve if a child dies, a friend, or a partner dies. They were given to me freely and now the owner has taken them back. I didn’t own them. Why are you grieving then?
  6. Not to be a coward when I’m called back. I didn’t determine the date or the time i was born, God did it. Why make a fuss when He calls me back? Why do I want to stay for another two or forty years? I will have seen the same thing in two or forty years.
  7. Death is not bad it is like sleeping. You know nothing about it. Think of sleeping. You don’t remember anything.
  8. To compare life to boarding a ship with a captain on it just like Epictetus wrote. Not to wander far away from the ship when the captain docks at the harbor lest he calls and I miss my next journey.
  9. That my steel spoons and forks, my clothes, my writings, my books; will all outlive me.
  10. To be like Epictetus who even with death approaching would still continue to speak and teach philosophies.

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