A Very Easy Death

As we talked in the half-darkness I assuaged an old unhappiness.

Aujourd'hui, je n'ai pas vécu

But it is impossible for anyone to say ‘I am sacrificing myself’ without feeling bitterness.

Death itself does not frighten me; it is the jump I am afraid of.

For the first time I saw her as a dead body under suspended sentence.

It was a lovely autumn day with a blue sky: I made my way through a lead-coloured world, and I realized that my mother’s accident was affecting me far more than I had thought it would. I could not really see why. It had wrenched her out of the framework, the role, the set of images in which I had imprisoned her: I recognized her in this patient in bed, but I did not recognize either the pity or the kind of disturbance that she aroused in me.

No existe muerte natural: nada de lo que sucede al hombre es natural puesto que su sola presencia cuestiona al mundo. Todos los hombres son mortales: pero para todos los hombres la muerte es un accidente y, aunque la concozca y la acepte, es una violencia indebida.

She asked us to raise the curtain that was covering the window and she looked at the golden leaves of the trees. 'How lovely. I shouldn't see that from my flat!' She smiled. And both of us, my sister and I, had the same thought: it was that same smile that had dazzled us when we were little children, the radiant smile of a young woman. Where had it been between then and now?

She had appetites in plenty: she spent all her strength in repressing them and she underwent this denial in anger.

The misfortune is that although everyone must come to [death], each experiences the adventure in solitude. We never left Maman during those last days... and yet we were profoundly separated from her.

There is no such thing as a natural death: nothing that happens to a man is ever natural, since his presence calls the world into question. All men must die: but for every man his death is an accident and, even if he knows it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation.

Whether you think of it as heavenly or as earthly, if you love life immortality is no consultation for death.