April 11, 2013

A must-read

This is a wonderful piece by Roger Ebert, published at www.salon.com. Click here for the full article.

I do not fear death

I will pass away sooner than most people who read this, but that doesn't shake my sense of wonder and joy

Roger Ebert was always a great friend of Salon's. We're deeply saddened byreports of his death, and are re-printing this essay, from his book "Life Itself: A Memoir," which we think fans will take particular comfort in reading now.
I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.
I don’t expect to die anytime soon. But it could happen this moment, while I am writing. I was talking the other day with Jim Toback, a friend of 35 years, and the conversation turned to our deaths, as it always does. “Ask someone how they feel about death,” he said, “and they’ll tell you everyone’s gonna die. Ask them, In the next 30 seconds? No, no, no, that’s not gonna happen. How about this afternoon? No. What you’re really asking them to admit is, Oh my God, I don’t really exist. I might be gone at any given second.”
Me too, but I hope not. I have plans. Still, illness led me resolutely toward the contemplation of death. That led me to the subject of evolution, that most consoling of all the sciences, and I became engulfed on my blog in unforeseen discussions about God, the afterlife, religion, theory of evolution, intelligent design, reincarnation, the nature of reality, what came before the big bang, what waits after the end, the nature of intelligence, the reality of the self, death, death, death.....


  1. bjohanna5:41 PM

    Thank you Jill for this posting. This is an area of contemplation I'm just now entering.

  2. Your article triggered me to search farther into this good man's 'story' and he and his wife's story is a beautiful story. I really enjoyed reading about him...so much so that I forgot to wander back when I was done to tell you thanks. So I say it today, thanks!

  3. The idea recently came to me that where or whatever I was before being born is probably the same place/state I'll be after death too... and that probably the most natural thing in the world for us to be. Reading This essay, he seems to say the same thing... I find it oddly comforting. Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. Hello fellow "Empowered BLogger"....looking forward to following!

  5. I think it's interesting how, when a person says he isn't afraid to die, oftentimes that is taken to mean he wants to. I think this piece does a good job of differentiating between those two things and gives a lot of food for thought about what comes next. Thanks for the post!