How To Feel Better About Your Death

Ken Mootz

So…what do you remember about being in the womb before you were born?  Do you remember the fluid?  The umbilical cord?  When you grew during those first nine months?  If your answer is, “I don’t remember any of that, dumbass,” thank you for your honesty, though I could have done without the profanity.  Nevertheless, suppose you did remember the time you spent in the womb.  What if you had complete awareness of when you were safe in that woman’s warm liquid.  Just hear me out…if you could remember what you felt during that time, could you have any possible hint of what was in your future after she gave birth to you?

While in the womb could you have imagined the taste of chocolate?

Making love and/or having sexxxxxx with all the orgasms that come with that?

Movies, whether they be foreign, black and white, musicals, dramas and/or comedies?

Books, whether they be literature, comic, horror, fiction, non-fiction and/or biographies?

Music, such as classical, hip-hop, jazz, rock-n-roll, dance, and/or rap?

Television, like I Love Lucy?  The Sopranos?  Mary Tyler Moore show?  Seinfield?

How about ice cream and all the different flavors?  Playing sports and feeling the breeze on your face as you’re running?  Sunsets and how the sky looks enflamed with red, pink, and orange clouds?  Having a pet who unconditionally loves you no matter what you said and did at work that day?  Drinking beer, wine, whiskey or any liquid that helps you relax?  Laughing so much that your cheeks ache as your eyes water?  Hugging someone and feeling grateful for their presence?

You can’t comprehend what happens to you after you die just like you couldn’t imagine what moments of connection were in your future after you were pushed out/yanked from the birth canal.  After you die either you exist in some sort of form that you can’t possibly comprehend right now (such as when you were born), or it’s nothing forever and forever nothing for the rest of time.

While we’re on the subject of time, what do you personally remember about the year 1834?

Okay…how about 1753?



What do you personally remember about any year before you were born?  So…does that bother you?  Well, seems like it was no big deal for you at the time since you didn’t exist in any of the years that came before you before you were born, just like it will be no big deal when you miss out on the years 2178, 2359, 2601, 3287 and all the other years that will occur without you.  Maybe what happens after death is the same thing that happened before you were born, nothing.  Didn’t seem to bother you then.

Katherine Hepburn said, “I don’t fear death, it must be like a long sleep.”  If that is what happens after you die, is the longest sleep really so bad?  At least you won’t wake up to go to the bathroom any more.  You won’t wake up in the middle of the night worried about your job, being depressed, or being unhappy about your life not working out like you imagined.  Maybe when you die you finally get that good night’s sleep that you could never experience while you were alive.  If that’s the case, is that really so bad?

Then again, maybe there is an existence after you die.  But if you do exist in some fashion after death, it will be in a way you can’t possibly comprehend now, just like you couldn’t envision what would happen to you after you were born.  You’re going to be dead much longer than you were ever alive, so you might as well enjoy your current time on Earth as much as possible.  When you’re dead, what you experience will be entirely different than the life you’re living.  Could be better, which you can’t comprehend.  Could be worse, which you can’t possibly imagine.  Could be nothing, absolutely nothing for the rest of time.  Whatever awaits you after you’re dead, it will be completely different than what you’re experiencing now, so you might as well enjoy who you are and your particular time as much as you can, while you can…before your time is up.

Just something to think about the next time you think about death.  Hope that makes you feel better.  And if it doesn’t…you won’t remember this inconvenience you just experienced after you die anyway.

Ken Mootz’s short stories “Grocery List,” “Toothbrush,” “What Happens After You Die,” “Suicide Notes Are a Bitch,” “The First Time I Dropped Acid,” “Master of the Obvious,” and “She Better Say No” were published in Empty Sink Publishing, Livid Squid Literary Journal, Weirderary, Toad Suck Review, Fleas on the Dog and Door is a Jar.  Additionally, Long Shot Books has just published his most recent short story “Lies He Tells Her.”  He has also written two novels and seven screenplays, one of which was optioned by an independent studio.