There’s a poem I recall reading ages ago. It goes something like:

Tumpty-tumpty-tumpty-west,
Tumpty-tumpty cannot rest
Because every mother's son
Travails with a skeleton.

And truer words were never spoken! It’s a fearful bore, having always to be wrestling our immortal bits hither and thither, knowing that they’re bound to get the best of us in the end. As if that weren’t bad enough, the poor fellow in this story – ‘The Cold Embrace - finds himself loaded down below the Plimsoll mark with more than the usual cargo of mementi mori.

I’m not sure if he’s to be pitied, exactly. He’s hardly the most sympathetic protagonist. Pity me instead: I’ve got precisely the opposite problem. We’ve all got a past of one sort or another, and I find myself irresistibly drawn to the long-shut door of a closet which I’ve no doubt is full-to-bursting with skeletons. A wiser Adrian might leave well enough alone. The thing is, I’ve been such a hermit for so long – so utterly removed from my old life – that the contents of my personal ossuary may all have crumbled to dust by now. In that case, I’d quite like to get inside and do a bit of spring cleaning.

Ah, well. Another problem for another day.


Oh, and you can read the story for yourself here: The Cold Embrace, by Mary E. Braddon.
 


Comments

08/17/2016 2:28am

You really have a different outlook for the future. However, I do agree with some of your points. Sometimes, society tends to keep of the physical aspects of life and are afraid of losing it. That is the underlying reason why most people are afraid of death. My own personal reason for being afraid of passing on in the afterlife is the unknowing mysterious end that awaits us. I am afraid of the question: Is it really over? Or is this just the beginning?

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09/07/2016 3:41am

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12/23/2016 12:03am

Even though I've already read this story for several times, I always feel amazed on The Cold Embrace. The fact that it was written in 1860, I can still relate to the story. I almost cried after reading it. Thank you for sharing this story with us. I will read it again for the nth time.

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