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Posts Tagged ‘death’

Funny Famous Last Words

Posted by spritzophrenia on November 5, 2010

I came across a very cool little book yesterday, of “fond farewells, deathbed diatribes and exclamations upon expiration”. Some are tragic, some are uplifting, some are plain ironic:

“I wish I had drunk more champagne”

John Maynard Keynes

The British Keynes was not your average economist. Keynes, whose eponymous theories influenced Roosevelt’s New Deal and the rise of the European welfare state, was also a member of the famously liberated Bloomsbury group. He was politically liberal and sexually liberated, sleeping with many of the bohemian men in his circle and, of course, drinking champagne. Of that, and government spending, Keynes thought there could never be enough.


“I’ve Never Felt Better”

Douglas Fairbanks

After suffering a heart attack in 1939 at the age of 57, “The King of Silent Hollywood” (Robin Hood, The Thief of Baghdad, The Mark of Zorro) reassured an attendant while resting at home, then went back to sleep and died that night. Fairbanks was an athletic movie star known for his charm, good looks, and— apparently— an inability to gauge his physical condition.

“The couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist— “

General John Sedgwick

General John Sedgwick was a corps commander of the Army of the Potomac who enjoyed a reputation among his men as a good-humored guy and relentless optimist. At the Battle of the Wilderness, while other men were diving for cover from Confederate sharpshooters, Sedgwick scoffed at the danger, stood up, and caught a bullet in his face.

Some “last words” in the book are official goodbyes, written before the author popped their clogs. Do you have any final words planned? I hope mine will be “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”


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Posted in humor, humour, Meaning of Life | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

The Great Leveller

Posted by spritzophrenia on July 8, 2010

From the website run by his wife:

John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies”

David Burge fell asleep in the Lord Jesus Christ last night (Sunday, July 4, 2010). David was surrounded by his family during the last moments of his battle with leukaemia.

He was only 42. Only the most hard-hearted would sneer at the hope of another life. David, I miss you and I love you. You were my friend, my schoolmate from age 10, a deep thinker and good guy.

David Burge


Strangely, I was thinking about the fear of death the other day. The fear of death has never been a biggie for me. My friend Nathan cited it as the key thing that made him want to become a christian. He was regularly afraid of death as a teenager. These days Nathan is still a great guy, but is now an atheist, as I understand him.

I was nearly 41 when I first felt the fear of death, just a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t doing much, just walking up my path. Oh, I’d been afraid of dying before. A particularly harrowing moment rock climbing, or on top of a mountain in a storm. Yeah, I was scared of dying. But I wasn’t scared of being dead. This time it was actually experiencing being dead which scared me. How weird that it should come upon me when I was doing nothing.

I think of the poignant moment in Blade Runner, when the android Roy states it is his “Time To Die”.

At university, a member of the atheist club suggested that as we have no fear contemplating our non-existence before birth, so it makes sense to have the same lack of fear contemplating our non-existence post death. This has stuck with me and makes a lot of sense.

I recently found out this argument can be traced all the way back to Epicurus, a favourite philosopher of mine. Apparently there are good arguments against it too, but I don’t know what they are.

Either way, death is the great leveller. It has a way of making us stop and reflect, and this is a good thing.

I hope to see you again, Dave.

Posted in agnostic, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , | 20 Comments »