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The Inevitable End

Popularity 1Viewed 4120 times 2018-2-2 11:38 |Personal category:life|System category:Life

Step by step, we are all approaching the inevitable end of life-mortality. Nobody escapes it, but it seems that not many people actually realize it's existence.


Mortality itself is frightening. I don't know whether it is only because the fear towards death is programmed into our gene in the long course of human history so that we will have the best rates of survival. No matter what, I am personally exceedingly afraid of death partly because it means my existence will be wiped clean from this planet and partly because I know absolutely nothing about it.


The first time I realized I was mortal was due to my grandfather’s death. The very idea that I would just vanish from this world was more than horrifying as well as devastating. Before this revelation, I had never even once thought that I would just stop existing one day. This definitely shattered my world.


Death is not a daily topic like entertainment that constantly dances on people’s lips. It is more like a taboo in Chinese society deeply immersed in somewhat outdated traditions and customs. More exactly, death to many people is akin to a virus that many people seem to reckon that the mere mention of it is likely to make them catch this fatal disease. Consequently, it is almost agreed that we should never bring up this upsetting and unpleasant topic in conversation.


But this sort of avoidance never serves us any good. At least not in my case. I have hoped for a long time that more people will join the crowd to talk about this to some extent almost forbidden topic because the more we know it, the better we will know about how we should live our life and the better we will be able to survive the traumatic death of our beloved ones.


My grandfather’s sudden death because of heart attack had been shocking as well as extremely traumatic to me and to many of my family members. After his death, I was drunk in depression and desperately wanted to find a way out of this mental quagmire. I tried to write a letter to confess to my father how afraid I was about my grandfather’s death. My father drunk in his own sadness was I believe at a loss about what to do as well. After all, nobody had ever told my father how he should survive his close family members’ death. My father read my letter and then just pretended nothing happened. When younger, I couldn't understand why my father didn't say anything about it. But now I know.


My grandmother’s suicide was even more disheartening. My family had believed that we had done our best to keep her old life as comfortable as possible while in the meantime nobody paid attention to her severe mental illness. One of my aunts had been despairing for a long time after her mother’s death as she was the one who was in the hospitable to look after my grandmother. She had reckoned it was mainly because of her carelessness that had caused this despondent incident. She had borne that heavy cross in her heart for too long. Fortunately, with family support, she won this rather difficult battle.


Life is random. Not everyone is guaranteed a natural death-too old to live. Some young people die because of a variety of reasons nowadays such as car accident, drowning etc.. Many young people die from incurable disease as well. Thanks to the development of information technology, we these days know virtually whatever we want and don't want to know.


When scrolling the posts on social networking websites, it is not uncommon for us to see posts asking for donation so that they can help sick people receive medical treatment. Many of the patients are still very young. Seeing those posts can be depressing to me. It reminds me how fragile life can be and makes me feel sorry for those life which haven't had a chance yet in this world.


One of my friends one day informed me that she was slightly depressed because one of her best friends in senior high school died because of stomach cancer. Her friend reached the end of life around a month after her diagnosis. This totally unexpected event almost crushed her and her level of anxiety shot up. She was uncontrollably worried about her and her family. I wish there would be anything I could say or do to help her feel better.


But unfortunately there isn’t. I do sincerely hope there will be more talk about how we prepare ourselves for the end of our life and how we handle the leaving of our beloved ones.


Just a few days ago, I finished reading a book called “Being Mortal”. It was a rather nice and illuminating read on many levels. It facilitates me to understand the priorities in my life-chasing after materialistic wealth? pursing personal achievement? or going after my dream?   Understanding these is essential for people to live a happy and fulfilling life. Apparently it takes time to figure out the answer but it's worth it.  Of course, the sooner, the better.


In the past, I had placed enormous value on materialistic wealth, which later I realized didn't quite work for me. Now, I attach more importance to quality of life-spending some time enjoying a movie or a book, more importantly spending some time accompanying my parents.


It's difficult to live in a society that have formed many norms and that have placed many expectations on individuals. It's certainly easier to follow the path everyone takes. But if it is not where my heart belongs,

I would like to make some reasonable changes so that I can be happier with my limited time in this world.


After all, when I am facing death, nothing really matters.

It doesn't matter whether people like me;

It isn't important whether I have risen to fame or achieved greatness;

It is meaningless to try to please everyone.


Sometimes, that I am still living and breathing is a good enough reason to make me happy.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Comment Comment (9 comments)

Reply Report HailChina! 2018-2-9 11:00
For a Christian life is a burden - for a real one anyway. I am a Christian so I have always liked this quote -  'Duty is heavy as a mountain, death is light as a feather.' For us real Christians life is one big long nightmare of trying not to sin and we should be happy to die because when we do we go to heaven and I assume we get to sin and be happy. I have always thought that Muslims are very stupid to be satisfied with just 72 virgins in their Muslim heaven because in my heaven I will go through at least 72 virgins in the first couple of days. How would 72 virgins last one an eternity? I do not understand. Where do you Chinese go after you die anyway? What do you get?
Reply Report HailChina! 2018-2-9 11:15
Us Christians can't kill ourselves or we won't get into heaven apparently.
Reply Report HailChina! 2018-2-9 11:19
I have dared god to kill me many times. He won't do it. I used to ride a motorcycle around very fast but I couldn't just ride it into a tree or a truck because that would be suicide. But if god wanted to kill me I was making it very easy for him. But no. I did have two kind of serious motorcycle accidents and I was lucky not to die in both. Lucky. God wants me to suffer on earth for a bit longer apparently.
Reply Report HailChina! 2018-2-9 11:20
The two motorcycle accidents did hurt a lot though. They were both part of gods plan I guess.
Reply Report HailChina! 2018-2-9 11:20
Thanks god!
Reply Report HailChina! 2018-2-9 11:24
And living and breathing makes you happy? It doesn't take much to keep you happy does it. You should become a Muslim - when you get to Muslim heaven and Muslim God gives you 72 virgins you will be ecstatic.
Reply Report HailChina! 2018-2-9 11:33
But hey - isn't it only suicide bomber Muslims that get the 72 virgins? What does a regular Muslim get in Muslim heaven anyway? Less than 72 virgins? I seriously don't get it. What is in it for them? Less than 72 virgins? Well why even be a Muslim then? They are crazy.
Reply Report HailChina! 2018-2-9 11:34
Being a Muslim seems like a lot of work for 72 virgins or less.
Reply Report HailChina! 2018-2-9 11:36
And these stupid Christians that are all offended that a Muslim wants 72 virgins in heaven. What the hell? What is waiting for these Christians in their heaven? Their dead grandma and their pet cat that died when they were a kid? Jesus Christ. Great!

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  • The Purpose of Reading 2018-4-12 13:45

    we have the same feeling about. reading,reading. really tells us a lot especially when welearn foreign can help us to understand other. country's culture and customs.therefore,when we talk. in foreign languages.we. needn't worry about. making too. much also can enrich our life.let's enjoy reding

  • Why don't We Stand Out and Fight? 2018-4-4 14:14

    It is actually emotionally and mentally healthy to have nursing homes for old people in residential areas, and makes it easy for families to visit their elderly relations regularly.
    Death happens to everyone and it is stupid to hide it away. Death is not bad luck - it will happen to you and me.
    In some European countries there are homes for the elderly next to kindergartens, and everyone benefits from interacting with each other on a daily basis.
    The elderly benefit from interacting with children and keeps them mentally alert, whereas the young learn about death as a normal part of life.

    For a country that supposedly 'respects' their elders, China has a very superstitious attitude to death and dying.
    where i am from, the elderly are allowed and supported by family and state) to be independent and in their own homes.
    Where medical treatment is needed, residential homes allow the elderly appropriate facilities in towns and cities while their families can visit easily and local residents can interact with them.
    In addition, local communities benefit from being able to interact with these residents and the residents can still be part of a local community, not hidden away as something to be ashamed of or 'taboo'.

    Shame on China for such medieval superstitious attitudes regarding death.
    Does China 'respect' the elderly so much that they should be hidden away from people's lives?

    Do you want to be isolated and hidden away when you are old and your family don't want to or can't visit you?

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