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When I think of the joy awaiting,
Beyond the bier and the shroud,
Death seems but a transient shadow,
A passing Summer cloud.


I don't want to die. Damn death. Long live life!


People living deeply have no fear of death.

ANAIS NIN, The Diary of Anais Nin

When a man has the rope about his neck, you don't ask him about his health!

LEONID ANDREYEV, He Who Gets Slapped

To be human is inevitably, to hate oneself sometimes, to hunger for the perfect stability and in a way the perfect justice -- or at least perfect punishment for our numerous imperfections -- called death.

JOHN GARDNER, In the Suicide Mountains

It is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realise the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life.


O Death, the Consecrator!
Nothing so sanctifies a name
As to be written--Dead.
Nothing so wins a life from blame,
So covers it from wrath and shame,
As doth the burial-bed.

CAROLINE SPENCER, "Death the Consecrator"

Every hour wounds. The last one kills.

NEIL GAIMAN, American Gods

It seemeth such a little way to me
Across to that strange country -- the Beyond;
And yet, not strange, for it has grown to be
The home of those of whom I am so fond,
They make it seem familiar and most dear,
As journeying friends bring distant regions near.


Tell me the truth about death. I don't know what it is. We have them, then they are gone but they stay in our minds. Their stories are part of us as long as we live and as long as we tell them or write them down.

ELLEN GILCHRIST, Good Housekeeping, May 2011

When I cannot stand alone, it will be time to die.

ROBERT E. HOWARD, "Rogues in the House" (1934)

It is an error to divide people into the living and the dead: there are people who are dead-alive, and people who are alive-alive. The dead-alive also write, walk, speak, act. But they make no mistakes; only machines make no mistakes, and they produce only dead things. The alive-alive are constantly in error, in search, in questions, in torment.


Life and death are different sides of the same coin.

NEIL GAIMAN, American Gods

Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, the Watery, the Unshored.


There is no Death! What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.


Graves are for the living, not the dead. It gives us something to concentrate on instead of the fact that our loved one is rotting under the ground. The dead don't care about pretty flowers and carved marble statues.

LAURELL K. HAMILTON, Guilty Pleasures

It is not pleasant to come upon Death in a lonely place at midnight.

ROBERT E. HOWARD, "The God in the Bowl" (1952)

Only through the death experience could man fully understand his life experience. Only through the realization that his days on earth were finite could he grasp the importance of living those days with honor, integrity, and service to his fellow man.

DAN BROWN, The Lost Symbol

We are all born in the same way but we all die in different ways.


The key here, I think, is to not think of death as an end. But ... but ... think of it more as a very effective way of cutting down on your expenses.

BORIS (WOODY ALLEN), Love and Death

What greater gift is there than to demonstrate you need not fear death?

FRANK HERBERT, Chapterhouse: Dune

They say death comes like a thief in the night, where is he? I'll hug his neck.


Every twinge of sensation, even of agony, was a negation of death.

ROBERT E. HOWARD, "A Witch Shall Be Born," Weird Tales (1934)

Men believe death's elections to be a thing inscrutable yet every act invites the act which follows and to the extent that men put one foot before the other they are accomplices in their own deaths as in all such facts of destiny.


Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

STEVE JOBS, Commencement address at Stanford University, Jun. 12, 2005

Death is the end of every worldly pain.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER, The Canterbury Tales

So long as men die, life will reassert its tragic interest from time to time with fresh energy, and to this interest Christianity alone can respond. If the scientific people could rid us of death, they might indeed hope to win over the heart and conscience of the world, permanently, to some form of non-theistic speculation. As it is, the tide ebbs, as I believe, only that it may flow again.

HENRY PARRY LIDDON, letter to C. T. Redington, June 27, 1877

When bones and flesh have finished their business together,
we lay them carefully, in positions they're willing to keep,
and cover them over.
Their eyes and ours won't meet anymore. We hope.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Shanidar, Now Iraq", Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower

Fear ye not
The wrath of any man, nor hide your word
Within your breast: the day of death and doom
Awaits alike the freeman and the slave.

AESCHYLUS, The Libation Bearers

Chanting aloud in realms below
The dead are wroth;
Against their slayers yet their ire doth glow.

AESCHYLUS, The Libation Bearers

Man dies. Come from darkness, into darkness he returns, and is reabsorbed, without a trace left, into the illimitable void of time.


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