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When I was 6, I would cry each time I’d realize I would die. I would look out the window and cry over each fallen leaf and each person that would walk by and disappear around the corner – I might never see them again. I was terrified by death not because I’d die, but because everything else would. All the things were temporary – the cake, the school, the animation movie, daddy’s working day and granny’s funerals. I would run to my mum and hug her tightly and be sure that my hug was stronger than any death on earth, because it was filled with love.
When I was 16, I would laugh each time I’d realize I would die. Meaningless! I would look out the window and be bored by the same fallen leaves and the same people walking by and disappearing around the corner – all so similar and nothing new, nothing meaningful. Leaves replace leaves and people replace people and nothing changes, but everything dies. Somebody would replace me and life would go on. However, nothing would replace my mother, because she gave me LIFE. So I would run to my mum and hug her tightly and be sure that my hug was stronger than any death on earth, because it was filled with life.
Now, I simply realize I’ll die. It’s neither sad, nor funny, it simply is. “The meaning of life is that it stops.” (Franz Kafka) Death is what offers meaning to life. Hence, the essence and purpose of life is the very living. So when I realize I’ll die, I live
“Does life have meaning at all?” argues the skeptic. Life as such, taken independently, ripped off any context, has not. It starts, it ends, and then it starts again. Life is a cycle of beginnings and endings, champagnes and funerals, repetitions and meaninglessness’. It is infinite and thus it is boring. Everything that appears in the course of life, vanishes. Life is an alternation of little particular lives that happen and evaporate – the same old song, performed over and over again, but by different singers. It is the only one eternal thing, and it is lonesome, and it is blank, and it is hollow.
However, my life, your life, anybody’s life, has only one beginning and one ending and everything that happens once will never happen again, because it is finite. A first kiss is only once first, a great book is only once so intensely great, the first bite is only once so virginally tasty and it all feels so good that it is worth living. Emotions are the only possession that accompanies one from womb to tomb and what’s beyond that doesn’t matter because all that’s beyond life. Emotions are life because there are none after. Are there?
Death intensifies emotions. The transiency of life infects desperation – the desperation to manage to love, sleep, dance, eat and see; the desperation to feel and thus – live. The pressure of an end provokes one to fill life with intensity. Each one’s intensity is the collaborative result of aspirations and loves one “invents” in one’s own life. Knowing that all will come to an end incites the exploration and cherishing of everything that precedes it. After all, this is the only chance. Just as a passionate tourist who is frenetically walking around and visiting and photographing all the places he can possibly reach during his last day of stay in one particular location, in fear to not see them ever again, so is (and should be) the man during his long anticipation of death.
“Why is this THE meaning?” the skeptic continues. “When are you impatient about the day to come and when are you not?” I’d ask him. The anticipation of great emotions is what moves us forward and their creation is our only real capability. We don’t like music, we like the emotions it triggers, neither do we love or hate people, but the range of emotions they make us go though. Birth, marriage, food, cinematography, death, traveling are not facts, but rather an anthology of emotions we live them through. “When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing – then we truly live life.” (Greg Anderson) Life is one big emotion and death is the only indifference – most challenging one.
Were there no death, life would’ve been absolutely meaningless. Eternity aspires to nothing and has no ending point, thus it is utterly pointless. Eternity has no conflict, no climax and no timeline whatsoever. Still, death comes as the ending for walking and feeling, adding intensity and passion to the way. The paradox of death – certain and yet unexpected – is the adrenaline of the whole existence which moves the blood in the vine of life. The tense presence of death above life hurries people to feel and create emotions in others. Death makes people actually live. Death isn’t that bad, after all.
There is no meaning and purpose of life other than the one you feel. There are no feelings before and after life. Hence, that which does not make you feel is a waste and everything else is life itself. Pursue feelings because death is drawing near and you might not manage to live. Death is neither sad, nor funny, it simply is. Its certainty should wake you up and get moving. A life not lived is a waste of the Universe whose meaning are emotions, too. Hug life tightly and be sure your hug is stronger than any death on earth, because it’s filled with emotions.
Word count: 938
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