Just heard that the father of a fellow Tea Lover, Kevin Rose, passed away today. This post is dedicated to Kevin. My heart goes out to you.
My own Grandfather, Roy R. Neuberger, passed away on Dec 24th, 2010 at the age of 107 1/2.
I wrote the following for his memorial…
I’d like to say a few words about the Beauty of Death.
Borrowing from Aristotle, a Syllogism:
To be born is beautiful.
To be born is to die.
Therefore dying is beautiful.
And then to paraphrase Epicurus:
“……. death is nothing to us. For all good and evil consists in sensation, but death is deprivation of sensation. And therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not because it adds to it an infinite span of time, but because it takes away the craving for immortality. For there is nothing terrible in life for the man who has truly comprehended that there is nothing terrible in not living.
“…death, the most terrifying of ills, is nothing to us, since so long as we exist, death is not with us; but when death comes, then we do not exist. It does not then concern either the living or the dead, since for the former it is not, and the latter are no more.”
This echos the earlier words of the Bhagavad Gita (again to paraphrase) where on the battlefield Krishna says to Arjuna:
“You speak sincerely, but your sorrow has no cause. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.”
“You were never born; you will never die. You have never changed; you can never change. Unborn, eternal, immutable, immemorial, you do not die when the body dies.”
Grandpa had no fear of death. He knew his time was coming and accepted it calmly.
But as a culture, we tend to fear death, to do our best to avoid it.
This is a pointless endeavor, for we will all die successfully.
And by living in fear of death, we also fear life itself.
For life and death, like day and night and yin and yang,
Are complementary and inseparable.
By embracing death, we can truly embrace our lives,
Transcend death and live in the ever unfolding present.
Grandpa has only left his body behind, but he still lives on.
He lives on in each one of you, and in my middle name
Roy R. Neuberger’s life is like a stone dropped in an ocean.
Just one man among billions
Yet the ripples of that life have travelled far.
And through his wisdom and generosity, he has touched countless people.
Artists and lovers of art. Investors and lovers of profit and loss. Adventurers and lovers of life
His beautiful life will live on in his beautiful death.
Photographs of my Grandfather here.
Learn more about Roy R. Neuberger here.