Death resurrects good thoughts

Death. It is the single event that has preoccupied our thought throughout human history. It's the last experience of life, one experience that no one can avoid. It's the inevitable element of existence that we postpone by breathing, beating, and resisting. It is a major fear, like public speaking, although public speaking "can't kill ya," dying can certainly have a different effect. We've become so consumed with the idea of not existing that we exist for it.

Religious fanatics fight everyday for the afterlife they know will await them. Any religious person lives under the assumption that what he or she thinks (or has been socialized to think) is the truth without ever knowing. What if we're all wrong? It is possible that plenty of people have shortened their existence for nothing. It's possible that many of us have spent days in hot, boring places, reading the longest book of tall tales ever printed, spelling "him" with a capital "H," keeping scandals low profile, wasting millions of dollars on paraphernalia, and paying tithes for nothing.

But you've got to have faith in something. If you don't, you have a better chance of developing stress. However, are you sure your faith is going in the right direction? Have you picked the right team? Or are you a Cubs fan (been that way since you were born)? Hey, either way, we're all in the same boat, we are all going to die.

Although I have had experiences with death when I was younger, to this date, nothing has hit me harder than when my good friend died in 1998. Watching him, "the iron man" as I called him in my own mind for what he had gone through, die in front of my eyes sent a big bang of philosophical thought through my cerebral cortex.

I was young and dumb, and I am still young and dumb, but then I was even dumber. I dealt with the right emotions in the wrong ways. But in the long run, this experience helped my growth tremendously.

Since that December, I have cheated death in a number of ways and experienced the death of my grandfather (role model). I would have thought that after this, I'd be deeply depressed, but not at all, I have even become an optimist when all my life I have been a pessimist.

This may not seem like much, but pessimism was my one word personality description.

I'm not saying that I am glad my friend died, I'm just saying that his death served a positive purpose aswell. Without his death, I would not be glad I wrecked my stepfathers Corsica. It was a good experience, believe it or not. It taught me a great deal about a variety of things and on top of that, my stepfather has a new S-10. Without his death, I would not be able to appreciate my life so much. Plus, I would not have the religious attitude I have today.

Since death is so ubiquitous, it is my business to view life more positively while remembering those who have died. This is the reason why my friends and I have a "Dead Guy of the Week."

Well, I guess we do this just to be funny and stupid, but it has become something of value to me. This week it is "Cliff," my fallen friend who will never be forgotten.

I have tried my best to accept death and to not worry about it too much. The way I see it is, I've got a limited number of years on this planet (according to my eating habits I have about 15 years left). I can't spend my whole life in a shelter worrying about what will happen regardless. I have an eternity to dwell on being dead.

4420 )-¦Matt Coe column6.03.02DNEditorial442SORT:+â-ä2AUDT