Healthy people are those who live in healthy homes on a healthy diet; in an environment equally fit for birth, growth work, healing, and dying… Healthy people need no bureaucratic interference to mate, give birth, share the human condition and die.
Dying, we tell ourselves, is like going to sleep. This figure of speech occurs very commonly in everyday thought and language, as well as in the literature of many cultures and many ages. It was apparently quite common even in the time of the ancient Greeks.
A terrible thing about getting oldish is that your friends start dying, and in the last ten years I have lost seven or eight of my closest.
We must laugh before we are happy, for fear of dying without having laughed at all.
And all the winds go sighing, for sweet things dying.
Dying is only one thing to be sad over… Living unhappily is something else.
In 1965, I went to what was called the worst Bihar famine in India, and I saw starvation, death, people dying of hunger, for the first time. It changed my life. I came back home, told my mother, ‘I’d like to live and work in a village.’ Mother went into a coma.
My mother had taught shorthand and typing to support us since my father died, and secretly she hated it and hated him for dying and leaving no money because he didn’t trust life insurance salesmen.
New poems no longer come to me with their prodigies of metaphor and assonance. Prose endures. I feel the circles grow smaller, and old age is a ceremony of losses, which is, on the whole, preferable to dying at forty-seven or fifty-two.
Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth – look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.