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Monday, October 5, 2009

Wise words from Seneca

Luca Giordano, The Death of Seneca (1864)
I'm going to be officiating a funeral service this week, and was recently reviewing the service program. The last time I performed a funeral service, was before my current interest in Stoicism, so it didn't occur to me that one such program included words from Seneca the Younger. In retrospect is makes perfect sense to seek out the counsel of Stoics at a time of loss. Here are some words of Seneca on death which I felt would be helpful to share here:

"In the presence of death, we must continue to sing the song of life. We must be able to accept death and go from its presence better able to bear our burdens and to lighten the load of others. Out of our sorrows should come understanding. Through our sorrows, we join with all of those before who have had to suffer and all of those who will yet have to do so. Let us not be gripped by the fear of death. If another day be added to our lives, let us joyfully receive it, but let us not anxiously depend on our tomorrows. Though we grieve the deaths of our loved ones, we accept them and hold on to our memories as precious gifts. Let us make the best of our loved ones while they are with us, and let us not bury our love with death."

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