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Unfashionable thoughts on death, grief, and dying

1. Death will happen.

“The foolishness of people who are surprised by anything that happens. Like travelers amazed at foreign customs.” — Marcus Aurelius

2. …even if you avoid talking about it.

“As you kiss your son good night, says Epictetus, whisper to yourself, “He may be dead in the morning.”

Don’t tempt fate, you say.

By talking about a natural event? Is fate tempted when we speak of grain being reaped?

— Marcus Aurelius

3. Why do you grieve, really?

“Can you stand people who treat their friends with complete neglect and then mourn them to distraction, never caring about anyone unless they have lost him?

And the reason they lament them so extravagantly then is that they are afriad people may wonder whether they did care; they are looking for belated means of demonstrating their devotion.” — Seneca

4. To grieve the dead is easy, to live correctly is hard.

You want to live — but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying — and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead? — Seneca