Death represents many things for us: the unknown, fear and terror, avoidance at all cost, survival instincts. It brings up questions of what’s on the other side, what will happen to me (or loved ones who pass) and what is life ultimately about as a contrast.
Religions are founded on explaining the unknown aspects of death ~ and that structure can govern a believer’s action now. People go to church, temples, mosques and other institutions on a religious basis to guarantee good faith in death. Terrorist suicide bombers give up their lives, and others lives, to ascertain a place in paradise. Jehovah Witness followers suffer door slams and goading to maintain their faith. It’s almost like an investment.
Death as a Personalised Force
In myths and legends throughout the centuries, death has been a personified force.
Death has been presented as young or old, male or female ~ but often the colour theme is black or white. This represents a potent symbology of how clear-cut death is ~ death is the end, whether you’ve completed what you wanted or not.
In all the stories and myths, it is also noticeable that death is extremely grotesque (hags, skeletons, decayed flesh, monsters) or divinely beautiful (angels, winged man/youth). This is definitely seen by the perceiver, not necessarily the experiencer. Death can be beautiful, as it finally gives an ending to a long period of suffering, or ugly, as it gives an unwelcome shock or trauma to the loss of those you love.