But a conglomerate conspiracy not to talk about death may well prove far more pernicious than any Victorian or Puritan plot never to talk about sex. For when one shortchanges death, one shortchanges life. They run on one tether. It is just coincidence that a culture bored with life is also bored with death? Is it mere coincidence that the age of the ennui with life was ushered in by mass slaughters of individuals-children, women, and men-in the World of Wars of this century; that is, by the loss of wonder and concern for life? What would be the consequences for a society or for an individual if the decision is fallen into neither life nor death has a value in itself? When death becomes as boring as life, all mystery will have ceased. Lifelessness will rule supreme, but with supreme boredom.
There are experts in our midst on the mystery of death. They are people not put off by death as a problem but to whom death remains a mystery constantly accompanying them. Among them is a family who have experienced the death of a child, of one of them, of a living person grasping for life, awakening to its mystery, reaching for its touch and its pleasure and its pain. Do not tell such a family, when their child is suddenly removed from their life, that death is a problem. Do not interrupt the mother as she weeps for the child at night with news that cadavers can be frozen; do not tell his four-year-old sister who looks in vain for her brother to play with that when she reaches the age of reason and is educated she will understand death and learn to resolve the mystery of her absent brother.
When we cannot respond directly to death; when we take it for granted or ignore it by silence or by talking around it (and reducing it to a problem to be solved); when the published lists of traffic fatalities, of war dead, of assassinated heroes, of earthquake victims do not arouse respect for the mystery of death and its constant presence within and without us; when we can no longer face our own death as a distinct moment in our life wherein we stand in the mystery of our life as past and finished; when we can no longer be aroused to working to prevent death, to putting it off, to fighting for life; and when those who fight to survive no longer inspire us - then we are already overcome with the spirit of lifelessness. We are bored and boring.
On Becoming A Mystical Bear Spirituality American Style by Matthew Fox Paulist Press/Deus Books New York/Mahwah pg. 34 - 36 ISBN # 0-8091-1913-7