MEDITATION FOR A NEW YEAR: “I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH . . .”

Because I could not stop for Death —
He kindly stopped for me —
The Carriage held but just Ourselves —
And Immortality. //
We slowly drove — He knew no haste . . . //

Since then — ’tis Centuries — and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity —   –Emily Dickinson

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.”  –Marcus Tullius Cicero

“The true purpose of education is to teach a man to carry himself to the sunset.”  –Liberty Hyde Bailey

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”  –Norman Cousins

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.  That myth is more potent than history.  That dreams are more powerful than facts.  That hope always triumphs over experience.  That laughter is the only cure for grief.  And I believe that love is stronger than death.”  –Robert Fulghum

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.  If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”  –John Donne, Meditation 17 Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

“I am dancing around the ‘D’ word, but I don’t mean to be coy.  When you cross into your 60s, your odds of dying, or of merely getting horribly sick on the way to dying, spike.  Death is a sniper.  It strikes people you love, people you like, people you know.  It’s everywhere.  You could be next, but then you turn out not to be, but then again, you could be.”  –Nora Ephron, “Considering the Alternative,” Vogue (2006)

“To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.”  –Bertrand Russell

” . . . when all is said and done, none of us will be measured on how much we accomplish but on how much we love.”  –Krista Tippett, Speaking of Faith (2007) 

 

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