The Illusion of Death

Tess - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe there is no such thing as death; however, I believe that physical life should take precedence over the mourning of lost ones.

Nonetheless, the dead live on. Their still hearts beat anew in those that survive them. Their motionless brains work again in the thoughts of their loved ones. Their presence exists in shapeless, whispering form just beyond the veil of knowledge.

The veil is opaque, but it may be drawn back in dreams or times of reflection. During these times a dreamer can cross the portal between the world of the living and that of the dead via memories of the past, in which shadows become corporeal, faces distinguishable, and lost ones found, if but for a moment. It is in this way that dreamers can relive the details of their loved ones, or find solace in the possibility of holding conversations with them, seeing them, or being in their arms again.

However, I believe that because living solely in the past is tempting, I must not cross the veil too frequently for fear of getting stuck between the reality of this world and temptation of my memories. I cannot exist with my head on a different side of the veil than my body, for I cannot ignore reality for the sanctuary of his dreams. To live a life of only regret and recollection is to live a half-life; to be stagnant and worthless. It is cowardice to live solely in the past and not face the present, no matter how hard it may be to do so. Moving on is not disrespectful to the dead, for it is the action of a person with strength of character and heart; moving on is not the same thing as forgetting. To forget the dead or deny their existence is disrespectful because it devalues the dead, makes their life for not, and their death in vain.

To respect the dead is to learn from them. Learn from the way they lived, learn from the things that they taught, and learn from the way that they died. Some die in valor and others in dishonor. The dead know no embarrassment; they have no blood to rise to their cheeks to blush, so fear not to acknowledge the way in which they died, fear not to work to die a more honorable death, but something must be learned from their experiences.

I have learned that life is to be lived to its fullest despite and because of the obstacles that try to prevent fulfillment. I have learned the virtue of possessing the character traits of Industry, Intelligence, Integrity, and Independence. I have learned that the only person who will always be there for me is me. I believe in these ideas. I believe in my father whose life and whose death have taught me to believe in them. Above all, I believe in myself, and it is because of this that I really need not believe in anything else.