This guest post and painting come courtesy the talented Leslie Escoto of Tell A Story Online.

My neighbor across the street is dying. There is no fanfare, no screaming sirens, no sound of any kind. He’s a lovely man who lived a lovely life and now his earthly existence is drawing to a close. He is where he wants to be, where he feels comfortable and safe… just lying in his own bed, surrounded by his most treasured loved ones, and sleeping as he travels his last journey toward peace and grace.

We humans are so afraid of death—so much so that in many cases, we don’t even want to talk about it, let alone have someone even mention it. It depresses us, it ruins our day, it frightens us, and it confronts us with our own mortality. I don’t relish the thought of my death, or even more importantly, the deaths of those I love, or even the deaths of those who I don’t care for or even know. But I, as must all of us, at some point in our life, open that lock box in which we have secreted the fact of our mortality, look inside, and acknowledge the life of our death.

Death is nothing of which to be afraid. Every living organism dies. And then, at this point on our journey we become part of the only thing that does not die, that has been and will be a part of the Universe forever. Just think about it. Yes, we are no longer a breathing, thinking, living thing. What we are now is part of every living thing, every rock, every grain of sand, every drop of water, every breath of air that has and will ever be.

The best way I know to avenge our life and conquer our death is to live—fully and truly live. Our lives have purpose. Find yours, make it happen. Live it, share it, love it.

For what is it to die,
But to stand in the sun and melt into the wind?
And when the Earth has claimed our limbs,
Then we shall truly dance.

~Khalil Gibran