: If only I could also stay young forever and ever like [France], wouldn't that be wonderful? Right, don't you think so- His Girlfriend
: Are you sure? You'd be living forever, you know. In a different tempo than everyone else, with time flowing... We'd go to Paris for work, live together... and we'd have all these children and those children would grow up... My hands would get all wrinkly and I wouldn't be able to hear your voice anymore... And then I would die. And even after me, you'd be attending a lot, lot more funerals. Can a normal human being even bear so much? And no matter how many people you fall in love with, they would always leave you behind. Wouldn't you always be alone like that?
What is it like... to never die? Hohenheim:
What's it like? This body has its perks, but... It hurts so much to see friends die while I never get a day older.
I've been destined to live forever, even if humanity is annihilated as a result. However, I'm able to die. To be or not to be. It makes no difference to me. My death is the only absolute liberty.
He never saw her again after that. Not even as the years ticked by, as the voices surged in intensity then lulled, then surged once more like the tides washing away etchings in the sand. Years, decades, centuries. Sollux moved through all of them, never changing, never wasting into nothing.
Stuck in his ways, in the sounds of the to-be dead pleading, Sollux knew the answer to the age-old question: What’s a fate worse than Death?
Easy. Being loved by her.
Fanfic as written by a 20-year-old: Celestia:
I'm sorry, Twilight, but... you're now immortal. Twilight:
I-immortal? Being forced to watch everypony I'll ever care about grow old and die, whilst never aging myself... Why would you do this to me, Princess? *Boo hoo*
Time... Time flows by us like water. The ages pass until we are weary, so weary of life. Everything we create is destroyed, the lands we love are upturned. Mortal man may pass beyond this world, even if they do not know what lies there, but the elves... the elves must stay. You are about to face something, Ancanar, that may require stronger faith then you know have. Death... death is a gift. Ancanar.
In a way, both Cocoon
pictures consider the same dilemma that the angels struggled with in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire
: Is it better to live forever as a spirit who can feel nothing, or for a finite time as a creature who can breathe and hurt and die? My answer would be: Take me to the silver city
and I'll think it over for a few thousand years.
Yeah well, life is a bitch ain't it? Then you don't die.
Oh I've lived to see some amazing things, Elly. Another century come to pass, but I've... I've had to see my friends and loved ones die off through the years... Hal and Melinda... Brutus Howell... my wife... my boy. And you Elaine... you'll die too, and my curse is knowing that I'll be there to see it. It's my atonement you see; it's my punishment, for letting John Coffey ride the lightning; for killing a miracle of God. You'll be gone like all the others. I'll have to stay. Oh, I'll die eventually, that I'm sure. I have no illusions of immortality, but I will have wished for death... long before death finds me. In truth, I wish for it already.
We are not among the living, and so we cannot die. But neither are we dead.
For too long I've been parched with thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I've been starving to death and haven't died. I feel nothing
. Not the wind on my face, nor the spray of the sea, nor the warmth of a woman's flesh.
Captain Jack Sparrow:
You've seen it all, done it all, you survived. That's the trick, isn't it? To survive? Captain Edward Teague Sparrow:
It's not just about living forever, Jackie. The trick is living with yourself
Immortality is only for the gods. I wonder how they can stand it.
I couldn't have given them more life. I could only have given them immortality. They didn't think it was worth the price.
To one as young as you, I'm sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed at the end of a very, very
Life's only precious because it ends, kid. Take it from a god. You mortals don't know how lucky you are.
The first ten million years were the worst. And the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million years I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.
People do not want immortality. They simply do not want to die [...] They want to live. They want to feel the ground beneath their feet, see the clouds overhead, love other people, be with them, and think. Nothing more. Everything that has been said beyond that is a lie.
Those who used the Nine Rings
became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth, yet it turned to their undoing. They had, it seemed, unending life, yet life became unendurable to them... and they became forever invisible, save to him that wore the Ruling Ring, and they entered into the realm of shadows. The Nazgûl were they, the Ringwraiths, the Enemy's most terrible servants; darkness went with them, and they cried with the voices of death.
With my own eyes I saw the Sybil of Cumae hanging in a bottle, and when the boys said to her, "[Sybil, what do you want?]" she replied, "[I want to die]".
From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
— Algernon Charles Swinburne, "The Garden of Proserpine"
Without death, life is meaningless. It is a story that can never be told. A song that can never be sung. For how would one finish it?
Death is part of who we are. It guides us. It shapes us. It drives us to madness. Can you still be human if you have no mortal end?
At first we were kept in balance by birth rate. Few of us were ever born, less than a handful each year. Then I think, the Universe decided that to appreciate life, for there to be change and growth, life had to be short. So, the generations that followed us grew old, infirm, and died. But those of us who were first, went on. We discovered the Vorlons and the Shadows when they were infant races and nourished them, helped them and all the other races you call the First Ones. In time, most of them died, or passed beyond the rim to whatever lies in the darkness between galaxies. We've lived too long, seen too much. To live on as we have is to leave behind joy and love and companionship, because we know it to be transitory, of the moment. We know it will turn to ash. Only those whose lives are brief can imagine that love is eternal. You should embrace that remarkable illusion, it may be the greatest gift your race has ever received.
, The First of the First Ones, Babylon 5
Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It's not the time that matters, it's the person. Lazarus:
You're so sentimental, Doctor. Maybe you are older than you look. The Doctor:
I'm old enough to know that a longer life isn't always a better one. In the end you just get tired. Tired of the struggle. Tried of losing everyone that matters to you. Tired of watching everything turn to dust. If you live long enough, the only certainty left is that you'll end up alone. Lazarus:
That's a price worth paying. The Doctor: Is it?
Immortality consists largely of boredom.
You know, most people want to live forever. Fellig:
Most people are idiots.
It's one of the most wonderful things about Lady Time, isn’t it? How nothing's constant, how everything decays and changes? Charley:
You call that wonderful? The Doctor:
I call it absolutely beautiful! How would it be if everything was always the same? If you never got too big for your dresses, if you never got to pass them on to your sister? If the rainy autumn lasted forever and the spring never came? At least I change. I'm stumbling my way through bodies like I own a particularly dangerous bicycle. Grayle
never changes, not inside, not who he is. So time piles on top of him and kills everything good. No one should have to go through that.
Accept me and I shall grant life everlasting. Though it shall be filled with grief, though shalt have all eternity to wreak vengeance upon thine enemies.
What's it like living for nearly a thousand years? Aethyta:
Violent. Wars break out, colonies get destroyed. Mindoir, Eden Prime, Feros... it's been like that forever. Sometimes you hear good news, like that colony on Feros surviving
. That's the exception, though. You find peace in whatever arms will hold you. Turian, elcor, harar...Even had a pureblood daughter. I was the father.
Didn't work out. [...] Then one day you wake up, your figure's gotten matriarchal, and everyone else is too young to remember how the quarians looked inside those suits.
OK, what is the one thing that can never ever ever
in a million years get boring? If you said "busting ghosts",
tragically, you'd be wrong. Was almost through the "W"s when the bloom came off that rose. Heathcliff was defending Moonbase Wuthering Heights
from the crafty poltergeist
when I realised that being a being of pure intellect was... boring. It's boring. You know what I'd really like to do? Like to scratch my nose.
The forbidden medicine, the Hourai Elixir
, is not to be consumed by humans
. With but a single taste, you will never become an adult. With a second taste, you will forget all disease and illness. With a third taste.... your soul will forever churn in torment!
— Fujiwara no Mokou
, Hourai immortal, Touhou: Imperishable Night
You're both gonna die and leave me behind? No! I don't wanna be alone! If you die, I wanna die, too!
learns his friends Rubedo and Nigredo aren't immortal, Xenosaga
They don't know what it's like to liiive... fooor... eeever... aaand fooorget who they even are...
You want to live like this? Abandoned, alone, a prisoner in a world you can see but never touch? Old and infirm as you are, I'd trade a thousand of my frozen years for your worst day.
I've been like this for nearly fifty years, and I haven't aged one day. I have become what many men have dreamed of - an immortal. And yet... there hasn't been a day, an hour, a minute, I haven't thought about death. It obsesses
me, even now.
You know the rules. Killing me will gain you nothing but your own death. Macbeth:
After this long a lifetime
, I have no fear of that. And no desire to live in the kind of world you're creating.