In the lonely centuries of my existence, I have come to terms with the conclusion that I am loathed by all and loved by none. I have been rejected for every bit of creation and have done my job dutifully and without objection. I would like to exercise my right as a minority; that I might be protected against ignorance and hatred. So I have chosen now to speak out against the persecution that I have endured.
You’re intense hatred of me is unfair and one-sided. I do my job because it’s the fate that I have been granted by the universe. If it were your job, you would do it to. Alas, it’s mine and thus my own burden to bear. Contrary to your belief, however, I am not wicked and I do not find a particular enjoyment in it. You think that I am an all-evil being whose inherent joy is found in unjustified and merciless murder. But this is a false presumption.
For one, I am merciful not merciless.
Oftentimes I take the lives of those already suffering so that they do not suffer any longer. Yet even still, I am met with anger and hostility from all directions. “Why did you take my elderly grandmother?” you ask me. “Why did you let the starving child die?” you berate. You curse me and hate me, despite the mercy I give constantly and freely.
I bring comfort for pain and peace to the hurting. But the haughty eyes of humanity avert their gaze to this. You see only what you look for and you only look for what you want to see.
You often argue that I am not punctual. You call me “too early” or “too late.” But this is not true. I am always precisely on schedule. My punctuality is flawless as is my patience. I am the most patient entity in all of creation. For some of you, I let last for years! Others for tens of years, decades, centuries even! I wait an entire lifetime for most! And yet, you curse me for my impatience and eagerness.
I hear many people ask, “Why can’t you be more like Life? Cheery and giving and happy and alive?” This always makes me cringe. What a misconception of life you have. I am an inevitable truth but Life is a beautiful lie. Life may seem better at the surface, but he is a liar and will always make a fool of you. I am the epitome of truth and consistency, and I will never lie.
By most I am feared, by all I am rejected, and by some I am used.
To those who fear me: let me bring you comfort in understanding. I will come upon every single created and living thing. You can’t escape my gentle grip, so do not fear me. I am nothing to be feared, only something to be embraced. When you embrace me, you will no longer fear me.
To those who reject me: your voice is heard and your anger is felt. If our roles were reversed, I might feel the same way. I would reject me in every avenue and capacity. I would curse me and hate me and reject me just as you do. I ask, in turn, for you to put yourself into my shoes. If you were me, how would you like to receive intense rejection for all of eternity? Empathize with me and you will no longer reject me.
To those who use me: you have an entire life set out before you. No matter how bad it gets, your perception of failure is skewed. You’re never as hated, you’re never as hopeless, and you’re never as worthless as you think. I’ve been where you are my entire existence. I think these thoughts every day, but I owe it to humanity to carry on. You also owe it to humanity to keep on. Do not use me as an “out,” you deserve so much more than me.
I know what you want to hear from me now. You want to hear a heartfelt apology for my actions. But I cannot apologize for the unsaid rules of nature. They are my standard and I would be a fool to disobey them or apologize for what must be. Instead, let me try and qualify who I truly am.
You think that I am angry, manipulative, selfish, dangerous, evil, and malicious. But hear me say this: I go to every funeral and I sit at every dying child’s hospital bed. I weep with their mothers and sit in silence with their fathers. I ride in the ambulance with every suicide victim and hold the hand of the lonely widow in the nursing home. I am not heartless nor greedy, nor full of anger and strife. My heart hurts with you as you tear in rage at my very existence. It doesn’t matter if you fear me or reject me, hate me or curse me. I will come one day to take you, but I will not do so with enjoyment or enthusiasm. Instead I will sit at your side and hold your hand as you take your last breath.
My name is Death and I am kind and consistent, honest and present. I may not ever be loved by you, but I ask that you walk side by side with me as we both seek to pursue the duties granted us by the universe.
I hope I don’t see you soon, but when I do I will come gently and with open arms.
Peace until then,