30 April 2011

The Next Great Adventure

For today's blog post, I turn to the wise words from a trifecta of wise men: two fictional, one not.

Brent's grandmother passed away earlier this week.  Her funeral was yesterday.  She was 90 and had been in failing health for months, so no, her death was not unexpected.  Despite that, the grieving process for  the rest of us here still on Earth is still rather bumpy and sad.

When someone has lived a fairly long life, I remember these quotes and take comfort:

"To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure." - Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)

"Death is just another path...one we must all take." - Gandalf the Grey (Lord of the Rings)

Death is a part of life, part of the cycle.  We can't escape, and really, those who want to are unwise.  Death is the welcome gift after a long, weary period of living.

Of course, these quotes are really only for those who are at the end of their lives.  They don't speak much for the pain of unexpected death.  For that sentiment, I turn my good ol' standby: The universe unfolds as it should...and I am not meant to understand everything it does.

However, I might also add this gem to my repetoire...by one of my ultimate favorites: Socrates.

To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise without being wise, for then we think we know what we really do not.  Death may be the greatest good that can happen to some, but many men fear it as if it was the greatest of evils.  And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?

Indeed.  Death may be the greatest good.  We treat nearly always as if it is a horrible thing.  What is that but a prideful, ignorant knowledge in something we do not know?


  1. Thoughtful post. Given the huge amounts of money spent on people near death, it's further proof that we as a society do indeed fear death. Sometimes I wonder if that will evolve differently in the future.

  2. Makes me think of this epitaph: :^)

    Effie Jean Robinson

    Come blooming youths, as you pass by,
    And on these lines do cast an eye.
    As you are now, so once was I;
    As I am now, so must you be;
    Prepare for death and follow me.

    Which is not funny at all. But underneath, someone had added:

    To follow you
    I am not content,
    How do I know
    Which way you went?

  3. So sorry for your loss. The Harry Potter quote is my all time favorite. Thinking of it as an adventure instead of scary unknown feels right to me. Your family will be in our thoughts, let us know if you need anything at all.

  4. Hugs to you, Brent & the family -I'm sorry. No matter how expected, it doesn't make it easier.

    I, too, of course love the HP quote. And yes, I wonder where the society fear came from. When so many other groups celebrate a passing.

    Thank you for sharing this post.

    (Also, there's was a quote that stopped me in a cemetery one day -Forest Cemetery actually- "If you're thinking of me and feeling blue, look to the sky, it's blue too.")