I was thinking about death today as we drove past a cemetery in the rain. I asked Mother if she had ever read Catcher in the Rye, and she said she hadn't. I started telling her about that unbelievably moving scene in which Holden describes all the cemetery visitors going inside when it begins to rain, while all he can think about is his dead brother Allie getting rained on.
Death is terrifying. Does anyone else find it terrifying? I suppose some people are so sure in their beliefs that they don't, but no matter how much I try, there is still such an uncertainty. If you're going to be absolutely honest (many won't), no one knows what happens after death. When religious people say to me, "I know..." I say, "No, you don't know, you believe. There's a big difference."
"We're Late" by W. H. Auden
Clocks cannot tell our time of day
For what event to pray
Because we have no time, because
We have no time until
We know what time we fill,
Why time is other than time was.
Nor can our question satisfy
The answer in the statue's eye:
Only the living ask whose brow
May wear the Roman laurel now;
The dead say only how.
What happens to the living when we die?
Death is not understood by Death; nor You, nor I.