Opinion » Minerva's Breakdown




Dear Minerva,

Why do you think we, as people, have such a fascination with the macabre?

—Hollaback Ghoul

Dear Hollaback Ghoul,

Quite simply, the macabre fascinates us because we all eventually have to face mortality. Dying is a part of living. We all know that. However, what happens after we die is an unknown. Sure, science can tell us what happens to an organism once death occurs—the actual physical changes that take place. We can observe decay and document the process. While fascinating, what it cannot tell us is what happens to the spirit, soul, energy, etc. we experience from a living being. It is provocative to think about what happens to those we have formed bonds with. We want to believe somehow that spirit lives on despite the decay of the physical form. The other curious thing about death is how illogical it can seem. Sometimes, it takes the ill and the aged, which seems in line with the natural order of things. Sometimes, it cuts down the young and the healthy. The seemingly unfair whim of death and the great unknown beyond is a source of anxiety, emotion and obsession. It is directly related to humankind's search for meaning in this existence. Is death an ending or just a beginning? Is it a doorway into a different state of being? Death will always fascinate those who wonder about the magic of death and hope there is more to life than earthly toil and decay.

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