Post photo: pocket watch | © Pixabay

It is always these completely unexpected events that tear us out of our own dreams and make us think briefly about our own life and life itself before returning to everyday life.

I don't mean any completely surprising stock market movements or pandemic reports from the media, but the sudden death of people you knew personally and whose premature death you just didn't expect.

Even if you develop the feeling with increasing age that "the impacts" are getting closer and you are becoming more and more sensitized yourself, the death of people who are younger than you are still of particular importance. And if you then become aware of several such tragic events at the same time, your own brooding lasts a little longer than usual.

Steve Jobs could give death its own meaning.

"Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new." 

Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address (2005)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote on April 4, 1787 Leopold Mozartthat death is the key that opens the door to true happiness, and that he himself, even when he was still young, never went to bed without thinking about not seeing the coming day.

And John O'Donohue wonders:

"Though death is the most powerful and ultimate experience in one's life, our culture goes to great pains to deny its presence."

John O'Donohue,  Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom (1997: 205)

Paulo Coelho summed it all up in these words:

"Life is a dream from which we wake only when we meet death."

Paulo Coelho, Aleph (2011)

In order not to succumb to brooding today, I will end this post with a wonderful poem by Walt Whitman.

A clear midnight

THIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best.
Night, sleep, death and the stars.

"The death rate is the same for us as for anybody ... one person, one death, sooner or later."

Robert A Heinlein, Tunnel in the Sky (1987: 28)