Friday, November 6, 2009

How To Think About Death

We do everything we can to avoid thinking about the inevitable. But eventually Death grabs us all. Will it be a slap in the face? A caress? Or a polite handshake for a life well lived? I ponder these questions constantly, and wish that I could be in London this month to attend a course called "How To Think About Death", led by writer and philosopher Mark Vernon on October 19th.

Ironically, this course is being offered by The School of Life. The first class has already filled up, so I have the feeling this will be a very popular one, and perhaps offered again. Here's the course description:

'It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.' So opined Woody Allen, capturing something of our ambivalence about the one thing about which we can all be absolutely and irrefutably certain: we will die. On the one hand, it is almost commonplace to say that suffering is what we fear, not annihilation. But on the other, anyone who has experience the death of a loved one, or faced death themselves, will know that it is no trivial incident. If our inhibitions in discussing death and the lack of preparation with which most of us first experience grief are anything to go by, we could probably describe ours as a death-denying culture. In this short, sharp lesson about the inevitable we’ll consider what philosophers and theologians, film-makers and poets have usefully had to say about death, and ask if there is really such a thing as a good death and if so how we can prepare ourselves appropriately."


Unknown said...

So happy to have found your blog. Ironically my last name "Ryu" means 'weeping willow' in Korean. This is the last name my father left me. He passed last year and I am grieving his death, weeping still.

Mystical Quaker said...

Very powerful blog. Death is all part of the narrative and I believe that it is important to share that with others. Thank-you for your honest exploration of the journey.