D
literature

Dear Death

Daily Deviation
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
By Nihil-Invictus   |   Watch
511 200 5K (1 Today)
Published: April 23, 2014
Dear Death,

Do you still remember the first time we met? It was in Kindergarten. I was going down a slide and then the string on the hood of my jacket got caught on the banister and I was choking. I wanted to scream for help but I could only stare forward with my bulging eyes and hanging tongue, until the teacher saw me struggling and untied the string so that I could breathe. "Don't be afraid now," she told me. "You're safe."

I didn't see you again, Death, until many years later. Middle School--when people were busy trying to find their partners on the dance floor during P.E., you and I were already locked in a nightmarish salsa no one else could see. I held the cup of water in one hand while you held the uncapped bottle of pills in the other. And the moment I reached out to you to take them, that's when people saw us dancing and pulled me away. "What the hell were you thinking?" they asked me. "Come back and stay with us."

But even though we weren't moving in macabre unison, the music never stopped. I could hear you humming the notes behind our faded steps every single day and everyone else told me I was going insane but they were wrong. They pretended they couldn't see you because they were afraid, they didn't want to believe you were so close, that you could reach out any moment and make them disappear.

But deep inside I knew. You were always there, waiting. Waiting for the moment they would turn their heads and see the truth. And Death, there is not a day that goes by now where I don't see you. I have turned my head and I cannot avert my gaze, now that I have realized the ones who told me I was wrong were the ones who were looking in the wrong direction all along. They don't know you, Death. And you are indifferent to their ignorance.

Death, I used to be afraid of your indifference. But now I am not, because indifference is better than ignorance. Ignorance denies the truth; indifference acknowledges the truth and recognizes that it does not matter. No matter how much they try to hide from you in this hollow illusion called "Life," no matter how determined they are to look away, you are always going to meet them eye to eye in the end. It is only a matter of time.

What is time to you, Death? Just what goes on through your head as you watch all us mortals struggle futilely against the truth? I do not know. What I do know, is that I have a lot of time to spare. So, Death--if you still have the time to oblige me--may I have another dance?

Sincerely,

An old acquaintance

 
Recommended Literature
C
Charred remains of a modern society
   The little girl was dancing on the street, among the entrails of a once bustling suburb now strewn chaotically across the scorching asphalt. Her blithesome essence shone through her skin, in the whimsical way she twirled and threw her arms in the air, brushing her wayward curls aside. She crafted a dust storm and trapped the sunlight in her eyes, oblivious to the rubble sinking into her toes and the loaded gun in her brothers hand.     Bang.    She fell, asphyxiated by her own storm as the bullet carved its way into her flesh. And as the last gleam of light left her eyes, poppies blossomed from the cracke
I
Intensity
Coffee: two creams, one sugar, one Sweet 'n' low. Pancakes: short stack. Side of bacon. Every Tuesday and Thursday. 9am. The order never changed, though sometimes he would ask for extra syrup, but it was only on the mornings when he came in with unkempt hair and stubble on his high-boned, ruddy cheeks. Those were the rough mornings, the mornings when caloric intake was not on his mind. They weren't often: he was usually very meticulous. Only the occasional day would arise when you could tell the morning had not gone as it should have. My heart ached for him on these days. He only ever came on Tuesday and Thursday: he didn't have to be in th
L
Lilium
To the wilting lilies on my kitchen counter: I am reluctant to throw you out. You bloomed within a day. Well, some of you. I snipped off your blood orange anthers with the kitchen shears, coating my fingertips with pollen before it could dust the slate and stain my clothes. Hand jobs are always easier to clean up. I forgot to water you once. I'm sorry. In the mornings I plucked chlorophyll-starved leaves from the countertop and tossed them in the rubbish bin. Your support system fell one by one, even as you still grew and opened up to the world. Your petals began to turn limp and brown. I cut away the flowers that were no longer beautifu
Recommended Literature
C
Charred remains of a modern society
   The little girl was dancing on the street, among the entrails of a once bustling suburb now strewn chaotically across the scorching asphalt. Her blithesome essence shone through her skin, in the whimsical way she twirled and threw her arms in the air, brushing her wayward curls aside. She crafted a dust storm and trapped the sunlight in her eyes, oblivious to the rubble sinking into her toes and the loaded gun in her brothers hand.     Bang.    She fell, asphyxiated by her own storm as the bullet carved its way into her flesh. And as the last gleam of light left her eyes, poppies blossomed from the cracke
I
Intensity
Coffee: two creams, one sugar, one Sweet 'n' low. Pancakes: short stack. Side of bacon. Every Tuesday and Thursday. 9am. The order never changed, though sometimes he would ask for extra syrup, but it was only on the mornings when he came in with unkempt hair and stubble on his high-boned, ruddy cheeks. Those were the rough mornings, the mornings when caloric intake was not on his mind. They weren't often: he was usually very meticulous. Only the occasional day would arise when you could tell the morning had not gone as it should have. My heart ached for him on these days. He only ever came on Tuesday and Thursday: he didn't have to be in th
L
Lilium
To the wilting lilies on my kitchen counter: I am reluctant to throw you out. You bloomed within a day. Well, some of you. I snipped off your blood orange anthers with the kitchen shears, coating my fingertips with pollen before it could dust the slate and stain my clothes. Hand jobs are always easier to clean up. I forgot to water you once. I'm sorry. In the mornings I plucked chlorophyll-starved leaves from the countertop and tossed them in the rubbish bin. Your support system fell one by one, even as you still grew and opened up to the world. Your petals began to turn limp and brown. I cut away the flowers that were no longer beautifu
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Sign In
Comments (174)
KitsuneDzelda's avatar
However, another truth is that Death is not here for you, right this second.

Right this second, you are alive, and whether you choose to continue staring at Death, or stay trapped in this illusion, you are nonetheless alive.  Which is awesome, because Im pretty glad I got to read these two differing poems. (Dear Life and Dear Death)
Reply  ·  
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
Nihil-Invictus|Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly. And I will be staying alive for quite some time.
Reply  ·  
SurrealNacre's avatar
SurrealNacre|Hobbyist General Artist
wow this is definitely worthy of a DD :nod: i saw the sequel first but i didn't read it cause i saw there was this prequel :D really nice work!!
Reply  ·  
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
Nihil-Invictus|Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply  ·  
SurrealNacre's avatar
SurrealNacre|Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome!
Reply  ·  
RavensQuill's avatar
RavensQuill|Student Writer
Whoops... I read the sequel first. This is a very brilliant piece. I can see why it got a DD.

Honestly, I have a thing about Death, Life and Destiny. They have a bit of a personality in my mind. So when I read both of these pieces, I could relate, and see it firmly in my head. Both are distinct in your descriptions, and your perceptions of them are interesting to behold. You made Death come alive so to speak. Ah... I'm rambling.

So job well done. I look forward to reading more of your work.
Reply  ·  
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
Nihil-Invictus|Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks. I actually never intended to write the prequel; someone suggested that I do one, so I did. 

They say that Life is a beautiful lie, and Death is the ugly truth, but I feel like it's actually the other way around. Sometimes, Death seems to be more palpable than Life is...and that's the irony of it, I suppose.
Reply  ·  
RavensQuill's avatar
You're welcome. It's funny how that happens sometimes.

I agree. Life, more often than not, is far more cold and harsh than Death. It makes me wonder why we are so afraid of Death... when perhaps we should be cautious of/in Life instead.
Reply  ·  
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
Nihil-Invictus|Hobbyist General Artist
Well, there are already people who are quite the opposite--afraid of life and in love with dying. We call them crazy.
Reply  ·  
RogueMudblood's avatar
You did an excellent job fulfilling the prompt you were given, certainly. It's a touchy subject, to be sure, and you've certainly provided a unique perspective on it.

I've never been in a situation where I've wanted to take my own life. I suppose it's because I don't want to greet death just yet - I've too much left to do.

There is but one technical issue that I wanted to discuss:
Ignorance denies the truth, indifference acknowledges the truth and recognizes that it does not matter.

Because I stopped completely when reading this sentence, it's my opinion that there should be some type of conjunction here. "If" at the beginning or "but" before indifference - something to show why they are separated by a comma instead of being two separate sentences. It might also be viable to change the comma to a semicolon, since the thoughts are related. That would avoid diminishing your message by adding the conjunction and keep the sentence from appearing slightly awkward.

This is an excellent view of your psyche, however, and marvelously written. You've certainly managed to make people think about it a good deal more than they'd like (and hopefully on a deeper level of meaning) regarding their relationship to death. Thank you for sharing, and congrats on the DD!
Reply  ·  
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
Nihil-Invictus|Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! And also, I'm grateful you pointed out the conjunction issue. I like the idea of a semicolon. I didn't really check for convention errors since the whole thing just flowed out of me. xD
Reply  ·  
RogueMudblood's avatar
I completely understand. :D
Reply  ·  
c0bra5t0rm's avatar
c0bra5t0rm|Hobbyist General Artist
Death shall die itself. The world full of Life and Destruction will be mine to plunder. I might as well be death with my tired, sleepy-eyed demeanour.
Reply  ·  
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
Nihil-Invictus|Hobbyist General Artist
How would Death die?
Reply  ·  
alvies-belvedere's avatar
alvies-belvedere|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can't empathize, and I can't really sympathize either. I don't want to pity you in any way, but this work does make me a bit upset. Death is something that we all have to face. No one can escape it's grasp, no matter how close or how far you are from slipping through death's vale. Oblivion is inevitable, yet there are ways of making the wait longer.
Please, don't think that I'm trying to act as if I know what you're going through, or that i can play God and save you single-handed with a single piece of advice. No, not at all. I am in no way God on Earth and I can't tell you exactly what you're going through, because I don't know. I'm not even going to try.
What I can tell you though, is that (WARNING: this is going to sound incredibly cheesy and, or fake, so brace yourself) you are not alone. You probably know this already, (or, at least, I hope so) but there are plenty of people that can truly empathize with you. It's sad, but true. There are also plenty of people out there that you could vent to, and just have them listen, or be your shoulder to cry on or whatever you want really. Whether you find them, is a completely different thing, but let me tell you, just in these comments, there are already at least a few people here that you could talk to (myself included).
I don't know if what I am saying is helpful in any way, and I'm truly sorry if it isn't. I just want you to know that you don't have to have that dance so soon. You really don't have to hear the music, at least for a long time. Life may suck a lot of the time, and don't we all know it, but even though none of us here have the same story, or the same outlook on life, we can still try not to be dicks to each other and try to help instead. Go ahead and vent to/on me (terminology AKA a royal pain in the arse) or anybody else who has lent you a helping-hand of sorts, if you want.
Please, just let someone or something be that Kindergarten teacher for you. Do it for those of us who care, no matter how little we know you or how little you or anyone else cares. Do it for the sake of your future, or for people that do or will need you, or whoever or whatever matters to you and that will hopefully make you determined to try to block out the music, and to keep the dance a little farther away. Your life, and your time here may be small, compared to the rest of the history of the Universe, but it is more precious than the rarest element. Never doubt that.
For me, I love almost nothing more than to look up to the sky in the dead of night and see the trillions of giant balls of gas floating about in space. Each one of those tiny, little shiny dots in the dark sky looks tiny, and insignificant. But each one is huge, and unique, and beautiful, and just so, so much more significant than one might think, because without that ball of fiery gas, the entire universe would literally not be the same. Some may not give a flying crap about that missing ball of gas, but there are always those who do, because they, we, realize just how important it is. That single ball of gas could have gone down in history, it could have been the reason for so many important discoveries, and it could have been the very reason for life, no matter how small and short-lived that life may have been. I look at the stars, and that is what I see; the most precious artworks ever to have lived. I look at the stars and I damn well swell up with pride because I am a part of it. I am a small, insignificant part of the best thing I could ever think of; the universe.
So are you. So is every one else. Whether you've already died, are living right now or are yet to take your first breath of life, you are a part of something so much more. Never, ever think that you won't be missed, or that you aren't good enough, that you don't matter. That you're too stupid, too ugly, too hated, to invisible, too smart, too whatever, because you are not.
I'm not saying that you have a happier life than you think or some crap like that, I am only telling you a fact: you matter. You do not deserve to die.
Please, just try to live a little better. I know that things like depression are a mental disorder, and that you can't just "be happier", or "think proactive". You just can't. However, you can get over a crappy, ever-present mental disorder a lot of the time if you just do things right, like finding things that make you happy. Just look at Robin Williams. His death made the world cry. Depending on who you are, your own death may not be as big to the media, but for every person that sheds a tear for you and the rest of your life that never got a chance, it might as well be the world.
Reply  ·  
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
Nihil-Invictus|Hobbyist General Artist
First of all, thank you for taking the time to write this. And I'm going to apologize beforehand for my didactic response.

I hate to come off as callous, but actually, I'm frustrated when people tell me they care about me. To the point at which I will cut off contact with people who have attempted to stop me from committing suicide and regret nothing.

I understand thinking patterns can make or break you, and the mindset that I've found does me the most good is that of an absurdist--I think that life is meaningless and we're only disappointing ourselves by trying to convince ourselves that life is meaningful--which was one of the most major reasons I wanted to die. The unshakable feeling that life was meaningless, and the fear of not knowing what I should do with that information. I eventually stopped thinking of suicide as a psychological issue unique to the mentally ill, but a philosophical one.

I'm wary of thinking I deserve anything. When I don't get what I perceive I am entitled to, I become insecure and ask myself why I wasn't "good enough" to get what I wanted. And then I get sucked into obsessively ruminating over every single little "mistake" that could have led up to my "failure."

But ultimately, the problems that affect me are nothing. I'm worth nothing on a universal scale. When you look up at the stars in awe, they stare back at you with indifference. The universe does not and never will care about me because it's not sentient. And though that sounds like a cause of despair, my universal insignificance is actually one of my greatest sources of reassurance. Because now I know that every time someone I care about tells me I'm worthless, or tells me that I don't deserve anything, I don't have to place any significance on their claims. Because worth is relative. 


I think that "living better" is a bit of a misnomer. I don't want to live a happy life. In fact, I want to experience more than joy--I want to experience desire, anger, misery and everything other emotion in between. I just want to live so intensely so that I will no longer be able to surrender to apathy and the unreasonable nature of the world. That's all.
 
Reply  ·  
Nocturnaliss's avatar
I was reading a few comments below, and it struck me that you mention being suicidal - but also not afraid of death. Indeed, how else could you write such a piece, were you not aware that life is in its way but an illusion without meaning, that we go through because of reasons (un)fathomable to ourselves. People fear death, as they fear their own mortality, or the mortality of those dear to them... but death, like life, is a part of everything. I find that being unafraid of death myself makes me enjoy life all the more, because it's just one less thing to worry about, and allows me to enjoy what others wouldn't (melancholy, morbidness, you name it).

To get back to your writing (sorry I digressed), it's exceptionally well written in my opinion. I personally enjoy the fact you speak of Death as an entity and not just a fact, but also the way you describe this, shall I say, 'relationship' with it. I can but say: very nicely done; I'd have suggested it for a DD myself had it not already been done.
Reply  ·  
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
Nihil-Invictus|Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you--and what you said is very true. I feel like we need to live so intensely to the point where at any given moment, a stranger could walk up, blow our brains out, and we would be totally okay with it, because we're already living life to the fullest and it doesn't matter that we were cut short.
Reply  ·  
Nocturnaliss's avatar
Ahh, I'm more of a... passively passionnate person, as in: I don't burn through it through the thing I enjoy, but rather the things I enjoy encompass my entire life (I so hope that's clear, I don't know how to explain it).

I'm not afraid of death, should it happen, then it happens... what I am afraid of though, is not getting my life's work done, that which encompasses my life: writing a fantasy novel (which is about love, sacrifice and death, basically). So, for me, it would matter that my life'd be cut short, but rather than fear it, I trust it's not going to happen because there's no point for it. 

I guess you could say I live serenely, but not so serenely that I'm complacent or without drive... I experience emotions in a broad sense rather than a strong one.

(PS: thanks for the watch!)
Reply  ·  
DoodlesAndBeyond's avatar
This is amazing. Sorry if I fave and don't leave a comment, it's just I was logged on phone when I saw this.
Reply  ·  
Nihil-Invictus's avatar
Nihil-Invictus|Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you.
Reply  ·  
DoodlesAndBeyond's avatar
No problem.:) (Smile) 
Reply  ·  
Unisis-2-in-1-beauty's avatar
Unisis-2-in-1-beauty|Student General Artist
hey fellow weaver of words and artist of, well, words(?)<---couldn't think of one to fit right there...lolololololololololololololol...:iconwipetearplz:...oh, goodness, dear, dear irony
:iconicecreamzplz:

well, anywho (what,where,why,when, and wise, as well):iconmayplz::iconi-plz::iconplz-plz::iconwithplz::icona-plz::iconcherry-plz::iconoplz::iconnplz: :iconwhalesplz:

fav.me/d68ts8t

USE IT FOR A SCHOOL PROJECT, IF YOU SAY IT OK, IMMA GIVE CREDIT AND EVERYTHING....pweeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:iconicecream-plz:
Reply  ·  
View 1 reply
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Sign In
©2019 DeviantArt
All Rights reserved