Deaths' powerful intrusion into our existence shapes our acts, thoughts and words. We, tempt, ignore, are fascinated by it and sometimes welcome it when life becomes intolerable. We use our fear of death to better ourselves and in some cases fly in the face of death for sheer recreation. It will come for all of us at some time and that inevitability can be frustrating when you are being buffeted by the winds of time.
Death’s ability to affect our lives will forever drive the more ambitious amongst us onwards. The choices made in the wake of death’s influence depends on an individual’s acceptance or otherwise of their mortality. The death of a family member or friend can be the kick start we needed to actually live our lives a little better or more fully.
F1 drivers are said to have an unusually low fear of death, allowing them to throw those finely tuned missiles around a racetrack without contemplating the result of the briefest lapse in concentration. They must push their bodies to extreme lengths to be able to feel alive at all.
I enjoy tempting death in my own reserved way. Driving fast in high powered vehicles at times and places of my choosing is an exhilarating test of man and machine. Each time I survive the stresses and strains this type of activity puts on my body what have I achieved? An adrenaline rush? A personal achievement? Or is it the satisfaction of cheating death? At any time a bearing could fail, I could suffer a medical condition or an unexpected hazard may veer into my path.
But have I actually cheated death? Is it an entity that cares whether or not it gets to gather us up? Billions of people before me have argued this question. Some minds have even formulated religious based on their own answers and attracted followers who aren’t able to think about the subject too deeply themselves.
At this point in my life I prefer to adhere to the scientific pronouncement that death is ‘an ending of all vital functions or processes in an organism or cell’. I reserve my right to change my mind at any time as evidence to the contrary comes to light.