March 26, 2005

Giving The Ol' Bucket A Kick

Baby Bunny
Originally uploaded by jonathangrubb.

Thought about death this morning. No. I didn't dash out the front door for a truckload of Panadol or arsenic or a Backstreet Boys CD (apparently, listening to it for a straight 24 hours can and will kill you). I merely contemplated the idea of death. The concept of it. Death meaning to slip into nothingness. To be free from all constraints of life. To be free from worries, expectations, restrictions.

I was fumbling around for my car keys when I suddenly wondered what it would be like to just be ... nothing. Of course, mundane trivialities such as how I would die, how long it would take and how it would physically feel did not make as much as a dent in my ruffled brain. No. Only that it would be pure heaven to not have to deal with the banalities to which I am currently shackled.

Then another thought crossed my mind: If I were dead / nothing / free from life, I wouldn't be able to enjoy the freedom that I now have, would I? Especially since I have now become zilch. I would be free, yes, but I would be too dead to enjoy it. To be free and to be able to savour freedom, I would have to be alive. But to be alive is to not be free. Talk about a no-win situation.

People say death is the coward's way out. I beg to differ. While running away from your problems may seem like an unforgivable act of cowardice, I think this simply refers to defecting to another state or country. Because let's face it, wherever you go, there you are. You can never truly run away from life. As long as you're alive, that is.

But dying isn't running away to another country. You are moving from a state of being to, well ... not being. From existing to ... no longer existing. In this case, there's nothing cowardly about it because the journey to death (some people like to call this suicide) is hardly a cushiony one. And to make the conscious decision to take this journey, despite it being fraught with peril, pain, blood, gore and a slim chance that you might make it out (god forbid) alive and thus, wind up even more miserable than when you first started, I think that takes a handsome amount of guts.

Guts play an even bigger role when you consider folks who decide to off themselves even when they believe in the afterlife. When they believe that this earthly life isn't all that there is. That there's life after death. Which means suicide is wrong. Which means you'll most probably end up in hell being licked by flames and having your eyeballs gouged out with a pitchfork and being subjected to all sorts of things that are very, very ... painful. Which means that death is not exactly a way out of your problems. Rather, it is the beginning of a whole new set of problems that will, unlike your sordid life, last for eternity. Because you cannot kill yourself once you're in the bowels of hell. Hmm. You don't get any more from-the-boiling-pot-into-the-frying-pan than this now, do you?

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