Despair is suffering without meaning. – Viktor Frankl
But while there were times when I rejoiced in the idea that my sufferings were to be endless, I could not bear them to be without meaning. Now I find hidden somewhere away in my nature something that tells me that nothing in the whole world is meaningless—suffering least of all. – Oscar Wilde
In the midst of winter I at last discovered that there was within me an invincible summer.
– Albert Camus
Winter under cultivation is as arable as spring – Emily Dickinson
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Charles Adams Eaton – 2016-03-06
- Nothing is meaningless—Death least of all.
It is not that Suffering, Death, Grief, and all other conditions of deep human pain have meaning in themselves. They do not. Yet it is one of the wonders of human life that, by the stance we take toward events and conditions that we cannot change, we are able to bear the unbearable, to discover within our grief the deep Love that creates the sharpness of that pain, to recognize that it is by the darkness of Death that we see most clearly the shimmering light of Life, and to find meaning permeating our lives as in an invincible summer. If our lives were endless, if there were no death, if we were never shattered by the loss of those whom we love… But why consider what is not and cannot be our condition? We may, however, examine how best we can equip ourselves for what is our greatest challenge: the stance, posture, or attitude that we take toward Death.
- There are many ways to live our last hours. By consideration of how we may face death, we may perhaps strengthen our inner selves so that we do not enter those final hours unprepared.
I would not die terrified—with bones chilled to the marrow.
I would not die stoically—with clenched fists and gritted teeth.
I would not die bravely—with a vain passion in my heart to “conquer” Death.
I would not die raging against the dying of the light.
I would not die with depressed resignation—giving up Life with a last despairing gasp.
If it lies within me,
I would face Death with the composure of acceptance—and with a feeling
of gratitude and rejoicing for the gift of Life and its many wonders.