The Next Best Thing

we can't live forever, so everyone searches for the next best thing,

is it, to live on in the memories of others?

to occupy the greatest amount space, in as many neural pathways as possible?

is it, to convince ourselves that we made an everlasting difference?

that, through the change or changes we made, we will live on indefinitely?

is it, to train ourselves to ignore death, to pretend it only exists as an idea?

to expertly force our focus to anything else, to distract us from the inevitable?

is it, to foster and nourish and give ourselves fully to an idea?

ideas can't perish like we can, ideas like love, faith, morals and honor?

is it, to teeter on the edge, to get as close to death as possible without dying?

to trick death, as if we could let it chase us eternally without ever being caught?

is it, to procreate, to live on through our progeny?

to live on through their last names, to live on through their inherited idiosyncrasies?

is it, to convince ourselves that living forever is not what we want?

that, somehow, non-existance can trump the quality of the worst existences?

is it, to disagree with the first line, to believe that we can live forever?

that a god exists, that a heaven exists, that a death, strangely, is not a death?

is it, to give up, to accept that no next best thing exists?

to die with as much fight for life in us as humanly possible?

is it, to train our minds not to desire anything, thus making death less appalling?

to look lifelessness in the eyes and say, i desire nothing - death matters not.

is it, to find, fabricate, or preach meaning, to blanket oneself with 'meaning?'

the more meaning something has, the more power it has against its own destruction, the more appealing it is to us, the more likely we are to support that meaning...

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the most thorough and comprehensive analysis I have read.
You covered everything, most of which I've tried unsuccessfully
but my personal solution resounds in the words of your poem=
" to give up, to accept that no next best thing exists?"
and that's why I was dead before I died.