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Let's talk about Death

Death. Something that most of us fear and unrecognisably determine as unavoidable. We are born into this world, we live, we die. Death is knowingly certain in our life. We await it's presence in a mind-numbingly measured manner. Yet, why when death rears it's ugly head, to which we have been expecting, does it shock us to the core and destroy our emotions? Through the vast multi-media platforms, we are consciously informed of death through a 140-character based tweet, or a Facebook message.
This way, we are alienated from any sense of emotion or spectacle of grief by hiding behind this platform; yet the specifically constructed words still hit you hard in the stomach faster than any bullet could. The aesthetic of what death entails allows for the emptiness of speech - what do you say, moreover what CAN you say? The mouth remains frozen but ideas float endlessly in the mind to what you want to say. Most of the time, a lot of swearing occurs. Then, of course, we have the grieving process. The mass affection of hugs, kisses, hand-shakes, hand-holding, nods, the list is endless. The tighter we squeeze, the easier it seems to get. We come together like a fire blanket to extinguish the flames of grief. Curiously they disappear, though not instantly, but over the passing of a long period of time. Lest we forget that the heart can burn brighter than any star or any sun in our solar system.
 Most importantly, the biggest expression of grief we have come to know (and show) is crying. Okay, not all of us, but the majority of the human race cry in the face of death or its effect on those around us. Once the tears start, it is difficult to control them and it becomes painfully apparent that they won't stop. But WHY? Why do we cry? Because the person in question is gone? But they're not! They are still out there, in our living breathing planet Earth. They are the wind in the trees, that rare summer breeze on a Saturday evening, the birds that tweet when the sun comes up, the rain that floods our streets, the books we find in the attic dated from 1973, the pictures we spontaneously take on a starry night, the jazz music that echoes from the local cafe; I could go on for hours. From death comes life, and every new memory created is due to the memories we hold close of the person we think we have lost. Our planet keeps turning, day after day, and it has never been so alive; our memories keep that person alive for as long as the Earth remains in orbit. Remember the birds you heard in the park on your first date, remember that copy of Wuthering Heights you had countless debates over (whether Heathcliffe was the ultimate romantic hero), remember that polaroid picture you took outside of your first house (and you may have blinked), remember that sound your daughter made when she looked into your eyes for the first time. I quote Shakespeare, who noted that "for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come" hereby enforcing the life that 'death' may bring; the new, imaginative memories that are created alongside the memories of the past. Shakespeare has taught me to no longer fear death, nor should I cry over those who have gone, because they are still very much alive - "My love, shall in my verse ever live young". They are born again in the light of new memory.  So, this is how I grieve. I keep silent and simply recall memory after memory.
And now I ask you, do not cry because they are gone, smile because they are still here. They are still beside us, for as long as you hold them and their memory close and preserve it forever; we can point and laugh at death. Death has lost. And amongst our laughter, our cherished angels will live forever.


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