A Reflection on Dying

Umberto Eco

I am one of those people who don’t miss their youth (I’m glad I had one, but wouldn’t like to start over), because today I feel more fulfilled than ever. But the thought that all my experience will be lost at the moment of my death makes me feel pain and fear. The thought that those who come after me will know as much as I do, and even more, fails to console me. What a waste, decades spent building up experience, only to throw it all away. It’s like burning down the Library of Alexandria, destroying the Louvre, or sending the beautiful, rich, and all-wise Atlantis to the bottom of the sea.

We remedy this sadness by working. For example, by writing, painting, or building cities. You die, but most of what you have accumulated will not be lost; you are leaving a message in a bottle.

Umberto Eco. Turning Back the Clock

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Filed under Literature, Non-fiction

2 responses to “A Reflection on Dying

  1. That’s an interesting thought. To work to remedy sadness. Thanks for sharing!