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Death is the loss of everything all at once.


In literature and in art, alike, this gloomy fashion of regarding Death has been characteristic of Christianity. Death has been painted as a skeleton grasping a scythe, a grinning skull, a threatening figure with terrible face and uplifted dart, a bony scarecrow shaking an hour-glass--all that could alarm and repel has been gathered round this rightly-named King of Terrors.

ANNIE WOOD BESANT, Death--and After

Science regards man as an aggregation of atoms temporarily united by a mysterious force called the life-principle. To the materialist the only difference between a living and a dead body is, that in the one case that force is active, in the other latent. When it is extinct or entirely latent, the molecules obey a superior attraction, which draws them asunder and scatters them through space. This dispersion must be death, if it is possible to conceive such a thing as death where the very molecules of the dead body manifest an intense vital energy.


It was mad, but I just couldn't shake it. I was Death, Destroyer of Life, and all I wanted was a cottage by a stream, a pot of hot soup on the stove, and someone to love me.


Into the chilly, artificial air, death slipped and snuck--the god of all thieves.

J. D. ROBB, Salvation in Death

There is a time in a patient's life when the pain ceases to be, when the mind slips off into a dreamless state, when the need for food becomes minimal and the awareness of the environment all but disappears into darkness. This is the time when the relatives walk up and down the hospital hallways, tormented by the waiting, not knowing if they should leave to attend the living or stay to be around for the moment of death. This is the time when it is too late for words, and yet the time when the relatives cry the loudest for help--with out without words.... It is the hardest time for the next of kin as he either wishes to take off, to get it over with; or he desperately clings to something that he is in the process of losing forever.


If death turned out to be a lack of being rather than a lack of consciousness, well, then, that sucked.


What is Death? Death is the ending of life. When people die, their bodies stop working. The heart stops beating and the brain stops functioning. People have always wanted to learn the secret of living forever. In ancient times, explorers and scientists searched for the secret of eternal life. The truth is, nothing can live forever. Everyone and everything will die in time. Plants, animals, and people all die. Death is a natural part of life.


Death can come at any moment. You could die this afternoon; you could die tomorrow morning; you could die on your way to work; you could die in your sleep. Most of us try to avoid the sense that death can come at any time, but its timing is unknown to us. Can we live each day as if it were our last? Can we relate to one another as if there were no tomorrow?

JOAN HALIFAX, Being with Dying

Death has no need to be cruel, taking people's lives is more than enough.

JOSÉ SARAMAGO, Death with Interruptions

Every life is framed by two mysteries. Only one of them, birth, is considered a miracle.... The other mystery that occurs, usually decades later, death, is very different. It brings to an end all the things birth struggled so hard to achieve. A thready heartbeat crosses an invisible line and becomes still. The bellows of the lungs, which have pumped some 700 million times, refuse to pump even once more. A hundred billion neurons cease to fire; a trillion billion cells throughout the body receive the news that their mission is over. Yet this abrupt finale is as much a mystery as birth, for at the moment life ends, 99% of our cells are typically still functional.... Some cells don't even get the news for some time. If the dead person is revived within ten minutes or so, before the brain gets permanently damaged by hypoxia, the body's machinery will go back to work as if nothing had happened.

DEEPAK CHOPRA, Life After Death

Odd thing about death ... it reaffirms life.

RITA MAE BROWN, Hounded to Death

Whatever it is that occurs at death, I believe it deserves to be called a miracle. The miracle, ironically, is that we don't die. The cessation of the body is an illusion, and like a magician sweeping aside a curtain, the soul reveals what lies beyond.

DEEPAK CHOPRA, Life After Death

No matter what the circumstances of our death, we overcome the horrors of our lives and find peace at last.

ROSEMARY ALTEA, A Matter of Life and Death

To conquer death you only have to die.

ALANE FERGUSON, The Angel of Death

I dream of the face of Death. It's an ever-changing face, worn by many at the wrong time, worn by all eventually.

CODY MCFADYEN, The Face of Death

That's life. Still the best alternative to death.

CODY MCFADYEN, The Face of Death

Where I am, death is not; where death is, I am not.

IRVIN D. YALOM, Staring at the Sun

Death had a curious way of ennobling people. Of washing away their flaws and elevating their reputations to a new purity. Sinners became saints once their bodies were lowered into the ground.

JOANNA CAMPBELL SLAN, Paper, Scissors, Death

Always be thou prepared, and so live that death may never find thee unprepared.

THOMAS A. KEMPIS, The Imitation of Christ

Death has a hundred hands and walks by a thousand ways.

T.S. ELIOT, Murder in the Cathedral

When one fears that somehow he will not be able to maintain an understanding grasp of something complex and extensive, he tries to find or to make for himself a brief summary of the whole--for the sake of a comprehensive view. Thus death is the briefest summary of life or life reduced to its briefest form. Therefore to those who in truth meditate on human life it has always been very important again and again to test with this brief summary what they have understood about life. For no thinker has power over life as does death, this mighty thinker who is able not only to think through every illusion but can think it analytically and as a whole, think it down to the bottom.


To will the obligatory in relation to death is to fall in line with the major immutable cycles of Nature, especially human nature, and to understand that (whether or not there is a purpose or meaning to life or a life of the spirit beyond the life of the body) no one, absolutely no one, escapes being finite and mortal. And knowing this, and then to accept it, to will it, and not to be in an unnecessary state of angst or rebellion or terror over it.

EDWIN SHNEIDMAN, A Commonsense Book of Death

There are always potential rogues who, seeing an opportunity, will flirt with death and then, at the very last moment, will be surprised to have met with it so easily.

PIERRE, MAGNAN, The Messengers of Death

Death ... doesn't take her eyes off us for a minute, so much so that even those who are not yet due to die feel her gaze pursuing them constantly.

JOSÉ SARAMAGO, Death with Interruptions

Despite the staunchest, most venerable defenses, we can never completely subdue death anxiety: it is always there, lurking in some hidden ravine of the mind.

IRVIN D. YALOM, Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death

There comes a time when living becomes something like a competition, when one shamelessly rejoices over the death of one's neighbour, as if he were a rival who has been eliminated.

PIERRE MAGNAN, The Messengers of Death

Death! great proprietor of all! 'tis thine
To tread out empire, and to quench the stars.

EDWARD YOUNG, Night Thoughts

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