“Best death” the boxer saied.
This entry for Movie Clip Wednesday comes late, but death comes never too early. Dr. B. was near the onehundred when he died some weeks ago, my friends Ralf, Ruth and JEanne were in their forties when cancer killed them, year after year. Cancer killed my mother in the early nineties, she was 56 years old, it was terrible. My father died from an heart attack, they told me he would have been dead before he hit the floor, I want to believe it. He survived a severe attack while he was caring for my ill mother at the end of the eighties.
There is no best death.
There is only death: You die or you remain. The dead did take the last step, besides birth it is the most individual and personal thing a human being can face. All is saied and thought about it, Boethius’ (Ger., Eng.) consolatio philsosophiae (Ger., Eng.) is roughly 1.500 years old.
What do you say to a mother who has to bury her son? What do you say to the wife of a close friend you helped to dig in half an hour ago? What do you tell yourself when you stand on a cemetery in bright sunlight and watch the interrement of one of your oldest and best friends you loved? What do you tell your father when his wife and your mother is cremated?
There is nothing to be saied. One can only do what has to be done. It is all about those who remain. The one in the casket has moved onwards – to another world? We all want it to be another world, we all naturally reject the idea of the big emptyness, the black nothing. As Humans we need the idea of an ongoing being whatever form it will have, how ever our ideas may be formed, we can not accept the monstrosity of the personal death.
The only thing that is sure in our lives, is that this life ends. The christian spiritual medieval European culture until the baroque drew as a conclusion that the “Good death”, der “Gute Tod”, would be the aim of life. Prepared. Corresponding with all the last rites that promise – what? Their function is to take away the fear, Angst. Worst thing that could happen in this context is the sudden death, the unprepared tearing out of existence, the rupture, der Bruch.
What we faced in the 20th century, or better: since the real end of the middle ages in Europe 1789, is another kind of death: Thrown upon mankind in masses by war, by epidemics, seemingly un-ending, limitless – as the final weapons were, the atomic bomb, the biological and chemical bombs.
Did all this change something for the one who has to remain?
Nothing changes. The mystery of the last step stays with us. There is no indecisiveness or abeyance – at least we hope so, and we definitely can state that there is no more life in this body. We face the fact of remaining. The task to carry on, to continue – to find a fucking meaning in this.
Maybe its a dream.