Actually, Ol’ Bone Face never left; the Grim Reaper is never, ever far away. That said, I’ve used these pages several times to make fun of the Reaper; and since I am nothing if not inclined to fairness, you can consider this Equal Time for that scythe-wielding son of a bitch:
If there’s one thing I’ve learned across the centuries, it’s that the futile resistance to the inevitability of life’s end is one of the most preventable causes of human suffering. I understand why. It is has been my sombre duty to attend countless deaths that violated society’s cherished sense of justice and decency. That is why I heartily applaud traffic lights, vaccines, hand washing, antismoking campaigns, flush toilets, international diplomacy, biomedical research and all the other nifty advances that have extended life. But this benefit has been largely enjoyed by the young, so that more of you get a kick at the can to make it into old age. The maximum age at death — 100 years, give or take a few — has held steady for quite some time now. Fact is, death wins, every time. Not that I am keeping score, but the dead outnumber the living, by a lot.
If you ask me, many of those privileged with the resources to entertain the likes of head transplantation, or its little sister, cryonics (don’t get me started!), fail to enjoy their lives to their fullest precisely because they are so ill-equipped to deal with death. The longest life is nothing but a flash in the course of time. Even when plagued with regrets and failures, it is to be lived forwards and not backwards. Each moment is a precious gift. Savor as many of those as you can, because at the end of the day, there will be no do-overs.
(Via Signe Dean.)