Death of the Gravedigger Carlos Schwabe Public domain Wikimedia Commons

I ask of it nothing.
No rebirth.
No afterlife.
No awareness.
No Godly residency.
No fiery torments nor sensual pleasures.
No yearnings nor needs.
Only the peace of absolute nothingness.
How glorious then death to forsake the continuation, the damnation of want and suffering.
To feel nothing, to know nothing.
Having only eternal nonexistence, leaving to rot a waning memory in the wake of a floundered life.

Might you find Death’s welcome a twisted longing?

Still, It remains.

Perhaps in shadows unspoken, but foreboding.

Then to ease the menace, men fantasize some fantastic infinity that bears only a feeble assurance.

The insurance of those frightened by death.

And yet, Death is undaunted.

How can it be, that all our knowledge, all our love, our hate, all we’ve built, all we’ve destroyed, all vanished for eternity?

But therein lay the serenity.

Death will serve us well.

And I ask of it, nothing.


  1. I wrote below about the death of Roxie, which I read again today and hope to place on my Facebook page. Your poem today is a fine one! Yes — escape . . . escape is the watchword of many of us, I’m sure, in these terrible times. I went to a Climate Rally in Cincinnati yesterday. Good to be with others who know the full score of us all. I loved a sign that said Benedict Donald. Make American Green Again. Act Now Swim Later. There’s No Planet B.

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  2. I imagine that death, like life, is what we imagine it to be, so I am imagining a beautiful meadow with every kind of animals, bird, et al., frolicking and letting me hug them. It may be momentary, before there’s nothing at all, but just once I would like to be be in a place like that…maybe I’ll see you there as well, even for that moment. I would want all the sweet animals who have gone on ahead, to be there as well, ducks included.

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    1. I like that death. And who knows? Maybe. Just maybe. And if any deserve a beautiful meadow where frolicking was the life, then it would be the creatures who have suffered the brunt of humanity. Thank you, Gigi. See you there, perhaps.

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    2. That would be a good death. I would welcome that.
      I can’t imagine animals not being there, animals to me have always felt connected to something ‘other’, something ‘more’, whatever you like to call it, they are far more ‘open’ than human beings. I have lost so many, and dream about them often, I like to think they endure somewhere. Hope so.

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  3. Nothing, as an afterlife alternative, is soothing to me. I suffered under a particularly nasty nun in the 1950’s — she described the calculus of eternity with dark conviction. Miss a mass on Sunday, get hit by a meteor the same day and suffer the consequences. After the first 300 trillion years you get to spend another 600 trillion years, only to find that a single scratch on your Hell cell wall is, quite literally, no time at all — another 900 trillion years for missing a holy day of obligation.
    Stalin was once a seminarian. He is remembered for killing 20 million or so. Yet, a simple confession revealed to any priest rewards him with bliss for the 900 trillion years and counting. And not a single second would Stalin spend in Purgatory.
    I find “nothing” a wonderful alternative to that scenario. God bless “nothing.”

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    1. I endured the oppression and mind-control tactics of Catholicism and its stooges myself; I think you know. That said, even at 6-years-old, I both felt and sensed serious flaws in their doctrine, and after five years of complaining of the abuse and humiliation, my mother finally allowed me to attend public school. But, now that it’s decades behind me, I can say I’m thankful for the experience, or rather, from what I learned from the experience, priceless. Thank you for your comment, Bill.

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  4. Lovely and powerful reflections about death, Peter, something so many of us fear and try to ignore. The truth, I think, is only something we will discover when it’s our time to die. Yet I also think parts of us do live on in the molecules that were once our bodies that will feed other life and the legacies and memories we leave for those we’ve known along the way. Like you, there are days I long for peace. Until then I do my best to live with integrity despite the challenges that abound.

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  5. Good stuff, I like it, very much. Well written and well said.
    Death, it’s an interesting subject; it has always fascinated me. Dying has never bothered me. As you say, we can’t ‘negotiate the outcome’ so whatever happens, will happen and then we’ll know. Having said that, it has not stopped me filling endless pages with ponderings and waffle about it (and you got me started all over again..), but if all there is is nothing, then that is not such a bad thing. It’s life that’s the problem isn’t it? Living that’s hard and how to endure this fucked up world……..

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