The cruelty of death lies in the fact that it brings the real sorrow of the end, but not the end. The greatest cruelty of death: an apparent end causes a real sorrow. Our salvation is death, but not this one.
(Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Fourth Notebook, February 25, 1918. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).)
For those who live neither with religious consolations about death nor with a sense of death (or of anything else) as natural, death is the obsene mystery, the ultimate affront, the thing that cannot be controlled. It can only be denied.
(Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. Illness As Metaphor, ch. 7 (1978).)
I think it beats the heck out of life after death, that's for sure.
(Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), U.S. tennis player; born and raised in Czechoslovakia. As quoted in People magazine, p. 116 (September 13, 1993).
On how she envisioned life after tennis. A competitive player for twenty-one years, she was planning to retire.)