The Last Sleep

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What is it to peer beyond the known? Do you dare even dream of what may come after all the pages are written? Death surrounds us always, a reminder of how fragile and precarious our lives are. Does it come like a soft dream that envelopes you in your sleep and then snares your soul? Does it strike suddenly like jagged lightening claiming and splitting a tree in two in the dark of the night? I’ve known of death, but I have never actually thought about it because it is something far off: something to be reckoned with in old age. It is not the young man’s racket. It has slowly seeped into my conscious as of late when I wonder what happens after we die.

I imagine complete darkness and a stillness that swallows echoes whole. A darkness that stretches forever covering the hills and the stars in syrupy ink that stains your hands. There is no more me and there is no more you in this void. All the pain of life washes away, but with the pain goes the moments of exquisite joy, for joy tastes the sweetest after the throes of agony and suffering. The nothingness strikes fear in me as my soul aches, as if it remembers existing in this plane before. If you believe in reincarnation, death is merely a way station between this life and the next. If you believe in heaven, you will ascend to the promised land above. If you are an atheist, the nothing awaits you.

I would plead with God to not send me again because life can be so cruel, but that is not up to me. If there is a heaven, I do not know if I would want to reside there. If there is no God, then I return to nothing. Whatever your beliefs, we will all return to nothing eventually. If there is an end, there was once a beginning. If there is a beginning, there will be an end. Eternity only exits in a loop. As such, humans were once nothing and we will return to nothing. One day, we will all die out and no one will exist to even remember our kind. That is the nature of physical life, but I choose to believe in the existence of a soul: the breath of who we are. All we can do is live our physical lives to the fullest, but also remember to nurture our soul. So it goes.

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