How to Treat Death Reasonably?
It is a very hard question to answer, for death is a very delicate matter, so delicate that many people consider it to be of poor taste to mention it at all. But it exists and, however unpleasant this idea may be for some people, it is better to look at what you dislike, than to be surprised by it.
What is the reasonable attitude towards death? To everyone his own, as wise people say. It is hardly possible to invent a universal formula that would be correct for all people, but some things, I think, remain unchanged. Death is inevitable for all people; one can postpone it, but not cancel entirely. In the end, it is always the same, and the way you die doesn’t really matter as long as you are dead. You have no power over it; yet, you have power over how you spend the entire life before it.
I treat the inevitability of death as yet another motivation to try and do as much as possible right now, for I know that the time of my life is limited and, no matter what actually awaits me after death, it would be something entirely different from what I am used to in life. There is no use thinking about death all the time; but thinking about the limited nature of time is useful. Of course, it is easy to say that there is no reason to be afraid of death, but there is really no such reason – because we can’t evade it indefinitely. The only thing every person may try to ensure is not to be ashamed of his life.