Book Review — Death: An Exploration: Learning to Embrace Life’s Most Feared Mystery

Death: An Exploration: Learning to Embrace Life’s Most Feared Mystery. Mayshark has a B.A. in World History from Manhattanville College. He is the editor of, an alternative media resource focused on social justice, and The Jovial Journey (, a website dedicated to food and travel.

Death is something we do not know first hand. We experience it through others — family, friends, news, and pets. We have religions that promise eternal life in heaven, paradise, or Valhalla. Loved ones will go to a better place. Is that based on us having hope in our impending deaths or to make us feel less of a loss? Catholic funerals I have gone to call it a celebration rather than a mourning. The loved one is with God; we should all be happy. Other religions teach of a reincarnation that allows the spirit to return to life again.

Mayshark presents other people’s ideas and thoughts on death in several short chapters. Steve Jobs’ battle with cancer changed his outlook on life. What good is it to be the richest man in the cemetery? In a way, most would not understand, he accepted death as an achievement.

Mayshark also looks at life as part of death. Would there be a thrill in dangerous or seemingly dangerous undertakings if there was no death? Approaching death but not touching it provides excitement. What about immortality? Would it become boring? As we extend the human lifespan we must also consider the quality of life. Life has gotten longer, but has it gotten better? Is the process of mechanically extending life really living?

Mayshark poses questions and other’s view on death.  It is enough to get the reader thinking about the subject but it is hardly more than an introduction to death.  The source material, however, provides enough information for the reader to begin his or her own research.

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